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Saturday, November 01, 2008
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice
Image: © Daimler AG 2008

Lewis Hamilton Second Fastest In Practice In Sao Paulo

The Interlagos racing circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil is the site of the final grand prix for the FIA Formula 1 2008 season. 2008 has been a great year for racing and the teams have been quite competitive against each other. The F1 Driver's Championship has come down to a challenge against the curves, straights and braking zones of the Interlagos circuit for two drivers - Felipe Massa in the Ferrari F1 car, and Lewis Hamilton in the Vodafone McLaren F1 car. Massa trails Hamilton by 7 points (87 vs. 94) for the Driver's Championship title as the final race to determine the winner commences this Sunday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Its great to see an F1 car up close, but we've chosen a photo from yesterday's practice session of Lewis Hamilton driving against the background of the city of Sao Paulo, the home of the Interlagos circuit. Yesterday in the second Practice Session Ferrari's Felipe Massa had the fastest lap times, with Lewis Hamilton in his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes second fastest. Hamilton put down a best lap time of 1m12.827 and he commented that with the cold ambiant temperatures of Friday's practice, the grip in the tires was a little off the norm, and it was slippery.

Hamiltons comments about how he felt about yesterday's session were the following, "Our car was blindingly quick this morning despite the cold weather, which made the track feel quite slippery. This afternoon we focused on our race pace - but we were interrupted by the threat of rain and the changeable wind direction. I flat-spotted (through hard braking and locking up the tires, or a tire) my tires on a couple of runs, but I'm positive that the changes we've made will put us in a good position for tomorrow. (Qualifying)"

One of the unique aspects of driving the Interlagos circuit is that the direction of travel around the track is anti-clockwise, which is something the driver's have to get used to with their neck muscles. The lateral G-force on an F1 car is huge during fast sweeping tight corners and the driver must counteract the g-loading with and opposing body energy and at Interlagos this is opposite to the other F1 tracks. Lewis Hamilton recently commented about the anti-clockwise aspect of Interlagos being one of its challenges, along with car se-ut as the track has a bumpy road surface.

Ron Dennis, the Chairman & CEO of the McLaren Group, commented on the technical discipline they applied to yesterday's practice session in Brazil. He said, "Today was a slightly tricky day for many of the teams - with graining, particularly of the option tire, a particular problem with less-than-optimal track temperatures caused by the inclement weather conditions. In fact, we suspect some teams may have dropped their fuel loads in an effort to nullify the problem, but we didn't. Instead we adhered to a disciplined program, all the while assessing our raceable conditions. We made steady progress with the understanding of the available down force levels, tire choices, and brake materials, and we feel confident that the lessons we learned today will pay dividends on Sunday."

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