F1 Power Rankings: Brazilian Grand Prix

We’ve reached the final race of the 2013 Formula One World Championship and it’s the end of an era. Not only are the old 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8s on their way out after eight years but so is @AussieGrit Mark Webber after twelve seasons at the top-level of motorsport. Given that it’s Webber’s final Formula One Grand Prix, I thought that it was only fitting that I bumped him up from #2 in the Power Rankings to #1.

#1 Mark Webber (Last Race #2)
@AussieGrit talks about how he feels going into his last race: “I think on Sunday it will be a little bit different but it still feels like a normal race at the moment, so looking forward to Sunday in many ways, in terms of obviously pushing for a good result, but also I’m ready to stop and looking forward to the extended winter that I’ll have and the new challenges around the corner. Getting out of the car Sunday there will be a few things that will be for the last obviously in terms of Formula One, but I’m pretty relaxed at the moment and looking forward to the race.”

#2 Sebastian Vettel (LR #1)
And here’s four-time on his outgoing teammate: “Obviously we didn’t have the best relationship on a personal level, but in terms of working professionally together for the team, we have been very strong… I’ve learned a lot from him. I can stand up straight and say that there were many times and places where I benefitted from him.”

f1-romain-grosjean-helmet-2013#3 Romain Grosjean (LR #3)
Grosjean talks about the secret of his success: “The whole team at the track and back at Enstone are doing an amazing job. The spirit of these guys is awesome; I really can’t say enough about them. They come to the track or the factory having had just a few hours’ sleep after the late night’s work the previous day, but they’re always happy to do anything they can to get the best from a weekend. We drivers are always wanting more from a car, and they never stop trying to make that happen.”

#4 Fernando Alonso (LR #4)

#5 Lewis Hamilton (LR #6)
Old Louise Hamilton is focused on 2nd in the WCC this weekend: “It’s difficult to believe that the final race of my first season with Mercedes has come round already as this year seems to have flown by. We know what we have to achieve this weekend in Sao Paulo and everyone is so fired up to have a good weekend and to be in that second place in the Championship on Sunday afternoon.”

#6 Nico Rosberg (LR #5)
Keke’s kid is hoping to make it rain… Since that’ll make his car better since everyone will have to watch the tyres: “The weather forecast for Interlagos looks interesting this weekend and if it does rain, that would be a good opportunity for us as our car is generally quick in the wet. I’m really looking forward to the weekend and everyone at the team is hoping for a great result to end the season on a high.”

f1-nico-hulkenberg-helmet-2013#7 Nico Hulkenberg (LR #13)
The Hulk may not be getting paid but he’s hoping to get paid after a big race this weekend: “I have very good memories of Brazil. I achieved my first pole position in mixed conditions there in 2010, and last year I led about 40 laps of the Grand Prix, and that was also under tricky conditions… I am really looking forward to the weekend.”

f1-sergio-perez-helmet-2013#8 Sergio Perez (LR #8)
Future-employment-questionable Checo talks us through a lap of Interlagos: “I love Interlagos because it’s such a racer’s circuit – you attack the whole lap. The first corner is a fantastic place for overtaking, and you can pretty much race side-by-side with someone all the way down into Turn Six, which is incredible. The infield section is tricky, because it has a range of elevations and cambers, but it’s a fantastic feeling when you get it right. Finally, Juncao is a tough little corner, because you’re often outbraking yourself on entry, simply because you want to maximise your speed through the corner in order to maintain speed along the long, top straight.”

#9 Felipe Massa (LR #7)

f1-heikki-kovalainen-angry-birds-helmet-2012#10 Heikki Kovalainen (LR #10)
A rough race result in Austin isn’t getting Heikki down: “Apart from the race it was an encouraging weekend in Austin, so I feel well prepared. The car is quick for sure. It’s fantastic to drive when things are going the right way, so if we can get on top of the issues we had in Austin then the potential is certainly there for a good result.”

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2013#11 Jenson Button (LR #12)
Jenson spends his pre-race quotage promoing McLaren’s outgoing title sponsor. What a sellout: “Finally, Brazil will be my final race in Vodafone overalls. I’ve won eight grands prix in our title partner’s famous rocket-red colours, I’ve driven some of the best cars of my F1 career during my association with them, and I’ve done some incredible things with them too – like driving an F1 car around Mount Panorama, one of my lifelong ambitions. Vodafone has played such a major part in the success of our team over the last seven seasons, and, while I’ll be sad to see them leave, I’ll always be proud of the successes we enjoyed together.”

#12 Paul di Resta (LR #9)
I’ve been trying to minimize generic fan quotes but a few have to slip through like this one from future IndyCar driver, Dario’s cousin: “It’s one of the most atmospheric weekends of the year. The fans are the loudest and very passionate about Formula One. There are drums playing in the grandstands and a party mood all the time. It’s great to see and it definitely gives you a buzz.”

#13 Adrian Sutil (LR #11)
To me, “opposite of Abu Dhabi” is a good thing. I hope it is for Sutil too: “Sao Paulo is the complete opposite of somewhere like Abu Dhabi, but the atmosphere in Brazil is always amazing. It’s one of the historic races and the track only has a few corners, but every year it produces an interesting race.”

#14 Daniel Ricciardo (LR #14)

#15 Jean-Eric Vergne (LR #15)

#16 Valtteri Bottas (LR #18)
BOTTAS thinks rain will help his chances to score points again: “After a strong performance in Austin where I picked up my first points for the team, I think we will have a good opportunity to finish in the top ten once again in Brazil. The weather is often quite variable at Interlagos which gives teams a chance to play with their strategy and make up places if we see rain during qualifying or the race.”

f1-esteban-gutierrez-helmet-2013#17 Esteban Gutierrez (LR #17)
Steve has geared up for this weekend since the PS1 came out: “Interlagos is a circuit I always wanted to get to know, so I’m really looking forward to it. When I was younger I had a PlayStation simulator, and I chose this track a lot. Now I will have the chance to drive it in reality. I’m sure I will like it. ”

#18 Pastor Maldonado (LR #16)
I wish that he was leaving F1 altogether but it doesn’t look like the case for Pastor. What an utter arse. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Maldonaldo: “This will be my last Grand Prix as a Williams driver after three seasons with the team so it will be an emotional race, and hopefully I can have a good weekend and finish on a high.”

#19 Giedo van der Garde (LR #20)
Gary is right. He’s certainly improved over the course of the season: “When we announced that I’d be driving for Caterham back in January I said I knew I had a lot to learn and I needed some time to find my true pace, but the team helped me do just that and mid-season, that’s when it all started to come good. It would obviously be nice to finish on a high now in Brazil and we’re all ready to do that, if the chance comes our way.”

#20 Charles Pic (LR #19)
Chuckie could be the odd one out at Caterham next season but still has his eyes on the prize: “So now we’re in Brazil and it’s the last race of the year. In 2012 I had my highest ever finish in F1 in Brazil, 12th and that was partly down to having a crazy race all around us and that’s what we’re hoping for again 2013, even though this year it’s a fight with the team I was with in 2012! We know we have the pace to be in the right place when the chequered flag falls, and I know that whatever the weather does I’ll be ready to fight right to the end.”

#21 Jules Bianchi (LR #21)
Jules’ goal for the weekend is to hold onto the final money spot in the WCC: “Wow, the last race of the season already. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun… We’ve done such a great job holding on to 10th place in the Championship for so long, so it’s hard to imagine any other outcome than seeing the Team achieve what they deserve finally.”

f1-max-chilton-helmet-2013#22 Max Chilton (LR #22)
Max the Axe talks about Marussia’s disappointment last season: “We have to keep looking ahead and stay focused on what’s at stake this weekend. Brazil was the scene of so much disappointment last year and as Reserve Driver for the Team I saw that first hand. I think we can all be proud that we have held 10th place all season so that’s what everyone has in their sights.”

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