Felipe Massa, Williams, Interlagos, 2016

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix stats preview

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa will say farewell to his home crowd for a second time this year.

And though the championships have been decided there are still some important and interesting battles to be settled in the remaining two races.

Race history

For the second year in a row, the Brazilian Grand Prix is expected to be Massa’s finale home race. Last year’s would have been had Nico Rosberg’s post-season retirement not led to Massa’s return.

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, race start, Interlagos, 2008
Massa won an intense finale in 2008
It leaves a strong likelihood that there will be no Brazilian drivers on the grid next year. There are others with sufficient superlicence points to make the switch, such as Lucas di Grassi, Helio Castroneves and Nelson Piquet Jnr, but none likely to do so and no new names coming up through the junior series are ready to make the move.

When he had a front-running car this one of Massa’s strongest venues. He would have had a hat trick of wins between 2006 and 2008 had he not handed victory in 2007 to Kimi Raikkonen so his then-Ferrari team mate could win the championship.

Massa’s most recent victory to date came at this track in 2008. That was also Ferrari’s last win in Brazil. McLaren’s most recent win at any circuit came at this track five years ago, courtesy of Jenson Button.

Two other drivers in the field have won at this track before. Sebastian Vettel is a two-time winner and Lewis Hamilton finally won this race for the first time last year.

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The form book

Vettel’s championship bid came to an end in Mexico and he is in genuine danger of losing second place to Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ championship. Of course no Formula One racer is truly interested in finishing second, but if Vettel stays ahead it will be the first time anyone has beaten a Mercedes driver in the championship since 2014.

Esteban Ocon, Force India, Circuit of the Americas, 2017
Gloves off: Close fight at Force India
Fortunes have changed at Red Bull. Technical problems have kept Daniel Ricciardo from finishing in the last two races, something which hasn’t happened to him since the opening rounds of 2014.

Meanwhile Max Verstappen has won two of the last four races. It may be too late for him to nab fifth in the championship off Raikkonen, who is 30 points ahead of him, but Verstappen has out-scored the Ferrari driver 80-30 since Malaysia. Still it’s a huge turnaround for the Red Bull driver who was behind Sergio Perez in the points nine races ago.

Perez has a fight on his hands with team mate Esteban Ocon who has out-scored him in the last three rounds and is nine points behind with two races left. Force India cannot be beaten to fourth place in the drivers championship now so we could be treated to a thrilling battle between the pair for bragging rights within the team.

Lap times

Overtaking

Source: Mercedes

Race ratings

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2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “2017 Brazilian Grand Prix stats preview”

  1. I hope Perez gets stuck behind Ocon, and then is given the go-ahead to race him for the position. Would be interesting to see who comes out on top when given free rein.
    Also I’d like to see both Sainz and Hulk have a trouble free race, and see who comes out on top.

    Oh and a wet race of course.

    1. Looks like a very wet Friday and Saturday and a dry race day I’m afraid.

      Hamilton, verstappen on the front row then….

    2. I think the one preserving in that scenario would be the driver behind them @Moi!

  2. Very interesting that should Massa not make another comeback in Australia in march, and no other Brazilian drivers enter F1 next year, 2018 will be the first year since 1969 that no Brazilian drivers feature on the grid. Crazy!

    1. It’s not crazy. It was crazy last year when Massa announced his retirement without another Brazilian driver in sight. This year it’s old news.

  3. And if HAM is running first with BOT second will he give up first to help BOT get second in the drivers championship?

    1. Never in a million years

    2. Absolutely no chance. Second in the Championship is completely worthless. There’s no way Hamilton would give up a win for no reason. I doubt even the team care about that to be honest.

    3. In Brazil – No because after Mexico , Hamilton is hungry for a win, he will not back down.

      In Abu Dhabi – No because he wants to finish in style.

    4. Would Bottas even want it? He has his own legitimate victories.

      I wouldn’t want to be gifted a victory without a compelling reason, like the WDC vs a rival manufacture.

      Of course he might feel he has sacrificed positions and deserves it, but the last comments I read from him didn’t indicate that attitude.

  4. Yes but, it would be the first time in several years that anybody beat a Mercedes at the final tally if Vettel comes in second. Do you think Mercedes might want to hammer that home if it came to it? An interesting conundrum. I guess it depends very much on how Lewis feels about it on the day, but he is still chasing records isn’t he? Who knows? Perhaps 1st place pays him a bonus and he has got a bit of a tax bill to pay ;)

    1. I think Mercedes might want to, yes. But Hamilton won’t agree, and Mercedes is not in a position to enforce it so it won’t happen. Hamilton, as you’ve said, is chasing records.

  5. Bottas is way too slow. Fight will be between Raikkonen and Verstappen, Vettel will most likely try to block Ves. Hamilton will cruise to the finish ending fourth or fifth. Mercedes will try some aerodinamics and settings, maybe experiment on tyre management for 2018.

  6. It will be more of the same, just because the title is decided it does not mean that suddenly everyone else will come into contention.

    The only real excitement is likely to come from Vettel smashing into people to change the order but that is not guaranteed

  7. Still having these memories of Brazil ’16…

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