Brazilian GP - McLaren Mercedes - Preview
As one of the most dramatic, tense and exciting Formula 1 seasons for many years draws to a close, the McLaren Mercedes team arrives in Sao Paulo for the Championship-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix.
After 16 gripping races
across 16 countries and five continents Fernando Alonso
, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen
will compete for the sports most prestigious accolade, to be crowned 2007 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion, over 71 laps of the twisting and bumpy 4.309km Interlagos circuit.
Hamilton is travelling to Interlagos with 107 points. His team-mate Alonso is four points behind on a total of 103, with Raikkonen in third position with 100. With a difference of seven points covering the top three, we have outlined the various scenarios that could take place in Sao Paulo next weekend.
How Alonso can become Champion
Should Alonso win the race, he would need for Hamilton to be on the bottom step of the podium or lower to take the title.
If Alonso is in second position after the 71 laps, Hamilton would have to be in sixth position or lower.
If Alonso takes third, he would need to Hamilton to only secure one point and for Raikkonen not to win.
If Alonso is fourth, Hamilton would have to not score any points, with Raikkonen also not on the top two steps of the podium.
How Hamilton can become Champion
Hamilton takes either of the top two steps on the Interlagos podium, no matter where Alonso and Raikkonen finish.
If Alonso wins the race, Hamilton has to take second place behind his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mate.
If Alonso comes second, Hamilton would need to take the chequered flag in third or fourth position.
If Hamilton is in fifth position, he would need Alonso not to win (because even if Alonso is second, Hamilton will still be champion due to best number of fifth positions,) It does not matter where Raikkonen ends the race.
If Hamilton finishes sixth or seventh, he would need for Alonso to finish out of the top two and for Raikkonen not to win.
If Hamilton finishes in the final points paying position of eighth, the only way he can take the title is for Alonso to finish out of the top three and for Raikkonen to finish out of the top two.
Should Hamilton retire from the race or score no points, then he would need for Alonso to finish in fifth or below and for Raikkonen to be in third or below.
How Raikkonen can become Champion
Raikkonen would need to win the race, with Alonso and Hamilton finishing out of the top two and five respectively.
If Raikkonen takes second position, then he would need Hamilton to only take one point and for Alonso to be out of the top three. Fernando Alonso
"Interlagos has a lot of great memories for me, having won both of my two World Championships at the circuit. They were both quite different races, but that is a characteristic of the track. It is very bumpy, you have to have suspension that allows you to drive hard whilst not being too uncomfortable. There are some great corners that you really get to attack, and all the elevation changes make it interesting for the drivers."
"I am sure we are going to Brazil with full equality across the team and two cars capable of fighting for victory in the race and the Championship. Although I am now only four points away from Lewis, I still need for there to be a lot of circumstances in my favour for me to win the Drivers’ title that are out of my control, but for sure I will be doing everything that is under my control to make it happen. I have to do my bit and then hope everything else falls into place."
"China was another valuable lesson for me this season, and an incident I will take from and try to develop as a driver. I moved on from the disappointment pretty quickly and since leaving Shanghai, my sole focus has been on Brazil. Interlagos is one of those circuits that everybody talks about. I understand it has a fantastic atmosphere, the fans are crazy for the sport, and the track lends itself to great racing."
"It is another new circuit for me, and there has been a lot of talk by other people about how it is tricky to drive. That’s why I see it as a special challenge and when I arrive at the track on Wednesday I will study it hard with my engineers and start to get an understanding of it. I’ve had some great races with the team this year, and I hope to have another one in Interlagos. Whilst I might be ahead by four points, this Championship is still very open. I will do what I can to score the points I need, and the rest is out of our hands."
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren CEO
"The Brazilian Grand Prix is an appropriate cliff-hanger of a race for what has been an extraordinary Formula 1 season. Following Fernando’s strong second position in the difficult weather conditions in China, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team has both Lewis and Fernando still challenging for the 2007 World Championship. There have been well publicised suggestions of there not being equality for both Fernando and Lewis."
"However we can categorically state that they will be given the exact same opportunity to win the race and the Championship. Both drivers have held these positions for the majority of the year, and every single member of the team is pushing hard for the victor to be one of our two drivers. For all three championship contenders, and our nerves, we hope to have a race without any weather complications, given the unpredictability of the region, accidents or incidents. It is a fantastic end to the season, and we hope to have a fantastic race for the fans."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"12 years ago at Interlagos we started our first Formula 1 race with our partner McLaren. Because this is obviously currently an issue for some, I would like to point out that since then all our drivers have had the same preconditions, technical and support wise, and this will not be any different in the 2007 season finale. The surface at Interlagos offers good grip but it is often pretty bumpy. Regarding the set-up the team has to find a good balance for the car, so that it handles well over those bumps, particularly under braking. Two years ago we achieved a 1-2 victory here and have won here a total of four times since the beginning of our partnership. Hopefully this a good omen for this final race."
"The Brazilian Grand Prix will be the end of a great Formula 1 season, which brought the most extreme challenges for the team, who replied with optimum performances. I cordially thank every single team member for this. We have already clinched this important victory over all influences from outside the team and we will work in the final race as focussed as before to achieve the Word Championship title with one of our drivers taking first and with the other one hopefully as runner-up in the overall ranking. After the final chequered flag the points table ideally should look like it did for the last six months - either Lewis ahead of Fernando or Fernando ahead of Lewis, after a tough and fair fight on and not off the track."
Source McLaren Mercedes