Interlagos, the technical challenge The high altitude and a bumpy track surface provide the two biggest engineering challenges at the Aut¢dromo José Carlos Pace. At 800 meters above sea level, the reduced atmospheric pressure at the circuit reduces engine power and has a negative effect on aerodynamic performance.
The track was resurfaced prior to last year’s race, but some of its notorious bumps still remain, particularly in the braking area for Turn 4, the ‘Descida do Lago’. To avoid bottoming out, the cars have to run with increased ride heights, which reduces the effectiveness of their diffusers.
There are two overtaking points on the lap: into the ‘S do Senna’ at the start of the lap, and under braking for the ‘Descida do Lago’ left-hander at the end of the back straight. However, the most important corner is ‘Juncao’, Turn 12, from where the cars accelerate up the hill towards the start-finish straight. Good traction at the exit is vital to achieving a good lap time.
Bridgestone are taking their soft and medium compound tires to the race which is one step harder than the rubber used at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix. However, the twisty in-field could still result in some graining early in the weekend when the track surface is still green.
Full throttle: 61% Brake wear: Medium Downforce level: Medium / High - 8/10 Tire compounds: Soft / Medium Tire usage: Medium Average speed: 214kph (133mph)
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