Brazilian GP: Preview - Pirelli


The penultimate round of the world championship takes place at the intense, rapid and colourful Interlagos circuit. Although resurfaced relatively recently, it still provides a massive challenge with a constant series of high-energy corners and the potential for some very high temperatures. As a result, the P Zero Orange hard tyre makes its final appearance of the 2016 season alongside the medium and the soft: a combination last seen in Japan.

The Circuit from a Tyre Point of View

Interlagos is the second-shortest lap of the year, but probably the most intense as the cars are constantly cornering and dealing with traffic. This adds to the demands on the tyres.

The resurfacing a couple of years ago increased grip levels and smoothed out the bumps.

A very wide variety of weather conditions are possible, from intense heat to heavy rain.

Interlagos is one of the few anti-clockwise circuits, with the right-rear tyre doing the most work.

Tyres are often subjected to combined lateral and longitudinal forces, which increase demand.

The Three Nominated Compounds

Orange hard: used for only the fifth time in 2016. Mandatory set: must be available for the race.

White medium: another mandatory set, which is set to form a key part of the race strategy.

Yellow soft: despite the heavy demands of the track, this compound has raced in Brazil before.

How it was a Year Ago

Nico Rosberg won the 71-lap race with a three-stop strategy, starting on soft and then stopping for mediums on laps 13, 33 and 48. The top three all stopped three times.

Best alternative strategy: Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth with a two-stop strategy, starting on soft and then switching to mediums on laps 12 and 46.

What's New

The circuit recently had a major upgrade; meaning no further changes this year.

Testing of the wider 2017 rain tyres continued for two days with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi last week.

The championship title could be decided in Brazil, but only in Nico Rosberg's favour.

Both the Mercedes drivers have chosen identical tyre selections for Interlagos.

Paul Hembery: "We're seeing the hard tyres in Brazil for the first time since 2013, which should prove to be very effective against the high-energy demands of the track. In 2015 we had a three-stop race, so with the increase in performance and downforce this year, taking a harder tyre - which has nonetheless been a very rare occurrence this season - was the only sensible option to offer a number of different strategy variables. Balancing its durability against the extra performance of the softer compounds will hold the key to the race tactics. The weather will obviously play a big part in these calculations too."

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Published: 07/11/2016
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