Toto Wolff talks about GP Sao Paulo
We left Mexico ahead of Ferrari in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ Cup. It is an important battle for us and we are focused on winning it.
Coming out of Mexico in second place was a positive, given the tough start to the weekend and our grid positions. The car set a very good race pace, but we know we still have a lot of work to do to get the most out of the W14 over all three days. Lewis put in a very good performance to take the podium and George gave it his all, even though his tires went flat at the end.
We have the last race in this triathlon ahead of us, in Brazil. We know we’ve made a good step forward in recent races, but Mexico showed that W14 can still be difficult to handle. We’ll be looking to come to Interlagos with a solid base to work with and see what we can do next.
Of course we have fond memories of Brazil, especially the last two visits with Lewis’ spectacular win in 2021 and George’s first win in 2022. The fans are very passionate about F1 and we always get such an enthusiastic reception from them. Hopefully our package will run well there and we can give everyone a good race.
GRAND PRIX OF SÃO PAUL
- Autódromo José Carlos Pace is the fourth shortest circuit on the F1 2023 calendar at just 4.309km in length.
- The only tracks shorter than this race are Monaco, Zandvoort and Mexico which was held last weekend.
- However, you spend 67% of the lap at full throttle.
- This ensures it is the second fastest lap time of the year, just behind the Red Bull Ring.
- The current track record is held by former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who recorded a time of 1 min 10.540 in 2018.
- The absolute track record, the fastest lap in an F1 car, is held by Lewis, who took pole position in 1 min 07.281 in the same year.
- The São Paulo Grand Prix venue is located at an altitude of 800 meters, the second highest altitude we will visit on the calendar.
- Again, only last weekend’s venue in Mexico City is higher, albeit at a significantly higher altitude, over 2,200 meters above sea level.
- Interlagos presents a challenge for setting up the cars. The first and third sectors require low drag for long straights, but the winding middle sector requires high downforce.
- With two DRS zones, the focus is usually on higher downforce for maximum fastest lap, but there is still a balance to be found to be competitive for overtaking and defending during a race.
- On the exit of turn 12, there is 1.2 km at full throttle before you reach the braking zone for the first turn.
- There is also an elevation gain of 33 meters in this part of the track.
- However, the biggest change in elevation is from the start/finish straight to Turn 4, where there is a 40 meter elevation gain.
- The long straight before the start of the flying lap requires smart use of energy from the ERS system to maximize power towards the end of the exit lap.
- Turn 1 is heavily banked to the inside, which relieves the left front wheel and can cause it to lock up.
- Since the tire is unloaded, flats are less likely and time loss is not as high due to the steep incline and variety of possible tracks.
- On climbs, riders need to find a balance between keeping the car on the brakes as gently as possible without going backwards.
- From turn 10 to turn 6 (about 3.5 km) the left front tire does very little work and therefore cools down quickly. This presents a challenge to keep the tire in the operating window.
- Interlagos is a smooth circuit with lots of combined cornering (where the car turns and brakes at the same time). This means that good stability is important along with a good front end for the low-speed middle sector.
- Temperatures on the track here can reach some of the hottest of the season, up to 60°C.
- The weather in São Paulo can also be mixed this time of year. It is not uncommon to see sunshine and high daytime temperatures quickly followed by a thunderstorm bringing a deluge of rain.
- This weekend’s São Paulo Grand Prix is the final sprint race of the 2023 season.
Source: Mercedes AMG-PETRONAS Formula One Team
Formula 1 – ROLEX GRANDE PRÊMIO DE SÃO PAULO 3.-5.11.2023
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