No Football, No Samba, Just F1
For the final F1 Grand Prix of the year, the GRANDE PRÊMIO PETROBRAS DO BRASIL 2012- two Champions will go head-to-head in one final war to determine the winner of the battle, the title of F1 Champion. Interestingly enough, both the drivers are gunning for a third title- automatically entering racing history books alongside the late great Ayrton Senna. Aptly enough, it will all come down to the Interlagos circuit in Brazil- the scene of many last day title battles, and the Home of arguably the greatest F1 racing driver of all time. Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, for the second time in three years, will take it down to the last day- 2 years after Vettel pulled out a bunny from his hat at Abu Dhabi in 2010 after overturning a 15 point deficit on this last day.
This time, the difference is 13 points- with Alonso looking to be the guy who causes an upset, just like the last Ferrari F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen did in 2007 (over a choking Hamilton in his first season).
The Interlagos circuit hosted its first Championship Grand Prix in 1973. After successful local racer of the 70s Carlos Pace’s death, the circuit was renamed in his honour (Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace). After the race briefly moved to Rio in the early 80s, Sao Polo got it back during a redevelopment program when Senna burst onto the scene.
There has never been a Brazilian Champion since his death, with Felipe Massa coming to the closest- to within a few seconds- back in 2008, and Rubens Barrichello playing second fiddle for years in the best Ferrari one-two of all time.
Alan Prost leads the number of victories at this circuit- with 6 to his name, followed by Argentine hero Ruetemann and Schumacher with 4 each. Home heroes Felipe Massa and Senna have won 2 each, with Mark Webber winning the 2011 edition after the Championship was done and dusted well before this last Grand Prix. Vettel, with a 2010 victory to his name, will fancy his chances against a weak Ferrari car- with Alonso yet to claim a maiden win at Brazil.
The Last King Of Brazil
All this might not matter, though, with Felipe Massa looking to reform a horrid season in his most important race. He could be looking to cause a fair bit of unrest in the Red Bull camp, and may hold the key to his teammate’s Championship hopes- with the entire crowd sure to be screaming Scarlett for the final weekend of the F1 season. Also, Ferrari have a lot to fight for, just 13 points ahead of a quicker McLaren-Mercedes team in the Constructors Championship standings, with a race to go. Add to that Lewis Hamilton’s final race for his childhood team, and it all amounts to a momentous day of the 2012 Championship season.
All Vettel must do is finish 4th or higher to win his third successive title, irrespective of Alonso’s position. Sounds simple, but nothing is- especially when most of the other drivers, mentally out of it after a grueling season with not much to fight for- already looking forward to a deserved, long New Year vacation with their families.
Let the lights go out.