F1 Power Rankings: Brazilian Grand Prix

We’ve reached the two to go mark of the 2014 Formula One World Championship. Despite the fact that Lewis Hamilton has won ten of 17 races so far, he still hasn’t clinched the championship. He can’t even clinch it this weekend. A combination of bad luck and ridiculous double-points rule threaten to make a farce out of the 2014 World Drivers’ Championship.

As for the Brazilian Grand Prix Power Rankings, the only way they can be made a farce of is if a monumental downpour screws up running on Sunday. Actually, I’d quite enjoy the chaos of a monsoon race.

#1 Lewis Hamilton
Old Lewis brings up that moment again: “Next up, of course, we have Brazil – which is another very, very special place for me. In 2008 I needed to finish fifth or better to take the title and, until the very last corner of the last lap, I was running sixth. I passed Timo (Glock) down the inside and, as I crossed the line, I didn’t know if I’d done it or not. I honestly though I’d lost it until quite a while after the flag, when the team came over the radio to tell me I’d won the World Championship. That was an incredible emotional rollercoaster and a moment that will stay with me for my entire life.”

#2 Nico Rosberg
Meanwhile, Nico is aiming for Abu Dhabi: “There is so much history there and, of course, there have been many great Brazilian drivers in Formula One. I’ve got a mixed record at this circuit but it’s one I really enjoy as it’s usually a really action-packed race. It would be great to give my title challenge a final boost with a good result before we head to the showdown in Abu Dhabi.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo

#4 Valtteri Bottas
#BO77AS talks about the changes in the track for this year’s race: ” There are some changes to the track for this year, they have resurfaced it and also the pit entry and exit are going to be a bit different than before… Setting up the car is not easy because of the long corners. Good balance is important but also a good straight line speed, so I think we can be competitive here.”

#5 Felipe Massa
Old Phil is back in Brazil for his home race, though it’s not the focus of his pre-race quotage: “The track is great, although it’s very small it’s also very technical. Corner one and two are very difficult especially as the gradient changes so there is a specific way to drive this sector. With two straights and a very slow section from corner seven to 11 it is important to have a well-balanced car and not focus on just one of those elements.”

#6 Fernando Alonso

#7 Sebastian Vettel

#8 Jenson Button
Button was the last driver I grabbed quotes for so by this point, I’m tired of reading the same old stuff from each driver: “I love going back to Interlagos, it’s one of my favourite circuits and one where I have a lot of happy memories – I clinched the championship there in 2009. It’s a really fantastic track and up there with the best circuits in the world. When you walk through the gates you can really sense the history and the excitement from the fans – it’s very special.”

#9 Kevin Magnussen
Jan’s boy thinks there’s a positive to the quick turn around for Brazil: “The fact that the grand prix is only a week after the last race in Austin is a positive, as we’ll be pushing to maintain the momentum from last weekend and continuously build on our race performances, as we have been over the second half of the season.”

#10 Sergio Perez
Checo talks about the challenge of Interlagos: “The circuit is very rewarding to drive in an F1 car – you can attack in almost every corner and it requires absolute commitment. There are quite a few overtaking points and I have had some special battles there in the past. You have some very fast corners and a very complex middle sector: there are changes of elevation, cambers and it’s very twisty, it’s very difficult but it gives you such a great feeling when you get it right.”

#11 Kimi Raikkonen

#12 Nico Hulkenberg
If The Hulk thinks this looks like a go-kart track, he should have seen the original Interlagos layout: “The track itself is a proper old-school circuit: you don’t have the vast expanses of more modern tracks, everything is bunched up together – it feels almost like a karting track. It’s a very cool layout with some iconic corners, and it has a lot of Formula One history.”

#13 Jean-Eric Vergne

#14 Daniil Kvyat

#15 Romain Grosjean
Romain talks about Vergne wrecking his car in Austin: “Points have been so very hard won by the team this season so it was really, really frustrating. I think Jean-Eric was trying to launch his car into space using the hill up to turn one as a launch! I didn’t have anywhere to go and he had all four wheels locked-up going sideways. The contact broke my front wing and also some of the floor at the rear too.”

#16 Pastor Maldonado
Two points does not a season make. Don’t tell that to Pastor: “It’s important to remember that we were competitive for most of the weekend in Austin – even though we dedicated some time to trying things like the 2015 evaluation nose in practice – and we need to continue like that for the next two races. The car has felt better and better to drive and we’ve been able to get more from it over the last few races.”

#17 Adrian Sutil
Adrian isn’t a fan of the bumps in the circuit. Don’t they give a track character though? “The track is short, but packs a punch with many bumps. It is not easy to drive. It is always a great race weekend, and I am looking forward to it. I think we can hope for points there, however, it will not be easy.”

#18 Esteban Gutierrez
Steve hits all the generic Interlagos talking points: “In comparison to other circuits, this is a short track; it has one very long straight, which means that engine power will be important. For the quick corners 6 and 7, which go uphill, it is crucial to have a good balance for the car. Especially in wet conditions, the track is fun to drive, and you can also go over the kerbs. It is a nice old style circuit.”

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