The Brazilian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship, takes place this weekend at São Paulo’s Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
This year should also be a bit more interesting thanks to the return of the sprint race for qualifying.
The sprint race qualifying format sees a traditional time-based qualifying session held after a single practice session on Friday, to determine the starting grid for a 62-mile sprint race to be held on Saturday. The results of the sprint race determine the starting grid for Sunday’s full-length race. Some points are up for grabs as well, which isn’t normally the case for qualifying.
The circuit that the Brazilian Grand Prix calls home, commonly referred to as Interlagos, features a compact layout that results in a lot of passing, and drivers frequently go off the racing line. A nonstop succession of corners—15 in total—also keeps drivers working.
Apart from the long uphill Arquibancada left-hander, most of the corners are reasonably short, meaning that lateral loads on the tires aren’t too punishing. Pirelli has nominated its C2 compound as the White hard, C3 as the Yellow medium, and C4 as the Red soft, the same combination as last year.
The weather in Brazil at this time of year can range from intense heat to torrential rain; some grooves have been cut in the asphalt to help drainage in the event of heavy rain. There is currently rain in São Paulo and more rain is predicted for both Saturday’s sprint race and Sunday’s full-length race.
Going into the weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, the 2022 title winner, sits on 416 points in the Drivers’ Championship. Fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez is second with 280 points, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is third with 275 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull has already won with 696 points, versus the 487 points of Ferrari and 447 of Mercedes-Benz AMG. Last year’s winner in Brazil was Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes.
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