Brazillian Grand Prix – Race

It’s the last race of the season and even though the Driver’s and Constructors’ World Championships were decided a few weeks ago there’s still plenty to race for: not only are there many battle for position still to be resolved, but there still some teams yet to decide on their driver line-up for next season.

I haven’t watched Qualifying yet (I was out yesterday) but I see the provisional grid is: SV, MW, JB, LH, FA, NR, FM, AS, BS, MS; PD, RB, JA, SB, VP, KK, SP; PM, HK, JT, VL, DR, JD, TG. That means SV has broken Nigel Mansell’s record for pole positions, set in 1992 when he was with Williams.

Meanwhile, on the rumour mill, this might be RB’s last Grand Prix, the Bahrain GP is back on the calendar for next season, but the Texas GP will not happen next year unless Bernie gets his money.

The forecast for today’s race is changeable; air temperature is 25°C, track is currently 46°C, humidity 58%
Radio for MS says chance of rain in next 20mins has been reduced

Assuming it stays dry, the teams will have to use both the Pirelli medium (white band) and soft (yellow) tyre compounds.
The front runners are all starting on the soft tyres they used in Qualifying.

SV leads everyone around on the formation lap

01/71: MW attacking SV
FA around the outside of LH in Turn 1 – takes P4
MS down to P11 but fighting back against PD

02: SV, MW, JB, FA, LH, FM, NR, AS, BS, PD
MS re-takes P10 in Turn 1
RB is down to P19 🙁

03: SV fastest lap 1:18.240 – he’s already opened a 2.2sec lead over his teammate
DRS now enabled
RB past HK for P18

04: SV f/lap 1:18.239
Replay shows RB had a very slow start and lost 8 places before Turn 1!

05/71: SV f/lap 1:17.784
SV, MW, JB, FA, LH, FM, NR, AS, BS, MS; no retirements as yet

07: MS has a lot of under steer – he’s going to struggle to catch BS

08: SV now 3.2sec ahead of MW, who in turn is 3.9sec ahead of JB

09: LH closing on FA, who is trying to hang onto the back of JB

10/71: SV, MW, JB, FA, LH, FM, NR, AS, BS, MS
MS pushing BS hard – contact in Turn 1
BS breaks his front wing on MS’s rear left – puncture for MS
Incident will be investigated but looks to me like a racing incident

11: FA blasts past JB in Turn 3 – steals P3
MS pits – rejoins dead last

13: BS pits – didn’t replace the nose cone though

14: Pit-car radio advises SV to short-shift because of a gearbox problem

15/71: SV, MW, FA, JB, LH, FM, NR, AS, PD, KK
AS pits; rejoins P14

16: JB pits from P4; new options (soft tyres); rejoins P7
BBC report only small blisters on JB’s tyres so this could a strategic stop to try to get him ahead of FA

17: FA & LH both pit; NR pits too

18: SV pits
Drive-through penalty for BS for the incident with MS

19: MW pits
BS serves his penalty

20/71: FM, SV, MW, FA, JB, LH, KK, AS, SP, JA (FM yet to pit)
JB f/lap 1:17.779
LH f/lap 1:17.764

21: SV catching up to FM, and FM hasn’t pitted yet
SV uses KERS and DRS to pass FM
SP pits

22: MW f/lap 1:17.612
FM pits – bit of a slow getaway – rejoins P6 – is he the only front runner on a 2-stop strategy?

23: MW faster than SV again – closes the gap to 2.6sec
TG slowing – only 3 wheels! Fortunately the stray wheel didn’t escape the pit lane

24: SV f/lap 1:17.303 – doesn’t look like he’s short-shifting any more

25/71: SV, MW, FA, JB, LH, FM, AS, NR, VP, PD; retirement: TG

26: Pit-car radio reminding SV to short-shift because of a “serious gearbox problem”
MW f/lap 1:17.030

27: PM passes BS for P16 – contact – bodywork falls off the Renault

28: Radio for SV telling him he must short-shift every corner; SV says he’ll fall behind (MW)
PM off in the gravel

29: BS in the pits again
SV lets MW take P1

30/71: MW, SV, FA, JB, LH, FM, AS, NR, VP, PD; retirements: PM, TG
SV has a 7.8sec gap to FA but that will disappear in about 10 laps

32: JB pits from P4 – prime (medium) tyres – rejoins P6

33: SV is only 0.05 sec slower than FA, so maybe that gap will last a bit longer

34: MW f/lap 1:16.959
LH pits – option (soft) tyres so at least 1 more stop – rejoins P6, behind his teammate

35/71: FIA feed shows rain expected in about 10 minutes
Half distance

36: Radio for SV says rain is on the way so go as far as possible on this set of tyres
FA pits – options – rejoins still P3
SP spins in Turn 9 – recovers and continues

38: Pit-car radio informs LH of gearbox problem

39: MW pits from P1 – softs – rejoins in P2, with a 20+ sec lead over FA
JB uses DRS to easily take P4 from FM

40/71: SV pits – softs
LH is catching FM now

41: MW f/lap 1:16.484
Radio for KK telling him not to use DRS – “we need your points” so be careful
BBC report LH’s problem is both upshift and downshift; SV’s is 2nd and 3rd gear

43: MW f/lap 1:16.395
Investigation of TG’s unsafe release (with 3 wheels) will be investigated after the race

44: Radio for FM says “this is good driving” as he keeps LH behind him

45/71: MW, SV, FA, JB, FM, LH, AS, KK, NR, JA
LH pits – prime tyres – rejoins P7

46: MW f/lap 1:16.375
SV f/lap 1:16.310
FM pits – primes – rejoins just feet ahead of LH

47: Another reminder for SV that he still has a serious gearbox problem – “save the car”
LH slowing – pulls off-line – “gearbox is gone” – he’s coasting to find a safe place to park

48: AS catching NR

49: MW f/lap 1:16.115
AS makes a move to pass NR on the main straight but NR fights back and keeps P6

50/71: MW, SV, FA, JB, FM, NR, AS, PD, JA, KK; retirements: LH, PM, TG
AS makes another move and this time takes P6

52: SV has backed off a fraction but he’s still faster than FA

53: JB pits again! More prime tyres – rejoins still P4

55: MW, SV, FA, JB, FM, AS, NR, PD, KK, VP, JA
FA pits – still P3
Radio for JB says tyre wear is good – “we can do qualifying laps to the end”

56: MW f/lap 1:16.114
JB f/lap 1:15.989 🙂

57: JB under 4secs behind FA
Radio from SV – says he feels like (Ayrton) Senna in 91 … reference to when Senna won with a gearbox problem!

58: MW pits – primes

59: SV pits – primes – bit slow but he has a 30+sec buffer to FA

60/71: JB within DRS range (1sec) of FA

61: JB takes a look but doesn’t attack into Turn 1

62: MW f/lap 1:15.492
JB attacks; FA defends in Turn 1
JB tucked up right under the Ferrari’s rear wing into the DRS zone; clean pass for P3 🙂

63: SV runs wide in Turn 5; rejoins but lost a lot of time

64: SV’s lead over JB down to 11.0sec, and the McLaren is 0.6sec/lap quicker

65/71: MW, SV, JB, FA, FM, AS, NR (+1 lap), PD, KK, VP; retirements: LH, PM, TG
BBC report McLaren are urging JB to attack SV
VL taken to the escape road; parked the HRT

66: SV has picked up his pace again but will his gearbox last?

67: JB dealing with a lot of traffic but he’s still closing the gap – it’s under 10secs now but there’s only 5 laps left

68: SV posts almost the same time as MW; JB a fraction faster, closing the gap to 8.8secs

69: FA reports his rear wing (DRS) didn’t open again
RB passes FM (unlaps himself) so the Ferrari is now in the middle of the RB/MS battle for P14

70/71: MW f/lap 1:15.480
Radio for MW – “we don’t need any more” fastest laps

71 = final lap: MW f/lap 1:15.324
MW takes the chequered flag for his first victory of the season; didn’t sound overly excited on the radio though
SV home for P2
JB takes a well-earned P3; told to park in Turn 1 (low fuel?)

FM does a couple of doughnuts at the pit entrance – he’ll probably be fined for it, but a fun way to celebrate with his home crowd.

Provisional result: MW, SV, JB, FA, FM, AS (+1 lap), NR, PD, KK, VP; JA, SB, SP, RB, MS, HK (+2 laps), BS, JT, JD (+3 laps), DR.
DNF: VL, LH, PM, TG.

JB beating FA for P3 means MW takes 3rd in the Drivers’ Championship.
HK finishing P16 means Lotus get P10 in the Constructors’ Championship.
(I’ll post the final standings later.)

2 Replies to “Brazillian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. 2011 Drivers’ Championship

    1 S Vettel 392
    2 J Button 270
    3 M Webber 258
    4 F Alonso 257
    5 L Hamilton 227
    6 F Massa 118
    7 N Rosberg 89
    8 M Schumacher 76
    9 A Sutil 42
    10 V Petrov 37

    2011 Constructors’ Championship

    1 Red Bull 650
    2 McLaren 497
    3 Ferrari 375
    4 Mercedes 165
    5 Renault 73
    6 Force India 69
    7 Sauber 44
    8 Toro Rosso 41
    9 Williams 5
    10= Lotus 0
    10= Virgin 0
    10= Hispania 0

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