Hamilton aims for first win of the year this weekend in Brazil as the Mercedes team is bullish on the prospects for victory. Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is hoping to “honour the Brazilian people” with his first win of the season this weekend in Sao Paulo, where the Brazilian Grand Prix is being held.
On Monday 7 November, on the eve of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of the Federative Republic of Brazil. In addition to this distinction, the Mercedes driver also received the medal of merit. The seven-time world champion, who is still looking for his first victory this year, will therefore do everything he can to try to reach the top step of the podium this weekend in Brazil.
I aim to get the Brazillian flag onto the podium
“I need all the energy we can get. We need to get that Brazilian flag up there [on the podium],” Hamilton told local journalists on Wednesday at an event hosted by team sponsor Mercedes, Petronas.
Last year in Brazil, Lewis Hamilton was the protagonist of a spectacular comeback from last place on the grid in the Sprint race on Saturday, while on Sunday the British driver also managed to climb from tenth place to take victory.
In total, Hamilton made 25 overtakes over the weekend in 2021, leading the Mercedes director of strategy to believe that the race at Interlagos will be one of his team’s best opportunities for a first win this year.
Mercedes: we can win in Brazil
“It’s a track that both our drivers have generally done well on and there’s a Sprint race where we can score more points, and when you have a car within a few tenths of your rivals, you can make things happen.” said James Vowles.
The stakes in these last two races of the year are high as the teams’ earnings depend on their position in the constructors’ standings and ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes is just 40 points behind second place in the championship currently occupied by Ferrari.
The weather may play into Mercedes hands
The F1 event will also be the last Sprint race of the season giving the drivers and teams an extra chance to score additional points but beware of the weather conditions which are expected to be … wet. A leveling factor Mercedes thinks will help Hamilton win for the first time this season.
The Autódromo José Carlos Pace, located in the suburbs of São Paulo at an altitude of over 700 metres, is the venue for the penultimate race of the season. The so-called ‘old school’ track is relatively narrow and has the particularity of being run in an anti-clockwise direction.
In November, the tropical climate in the São Paulo region is conducive to erratic thunderstorms with a peak in intensity in the mid-afternoon and early evening. Tropical thunderstorms can then suddenly hit and turn the track into an ice rink.
Friday 11 November – FP1 and qualifying
Friday starts with mild weather (17°C) with cloudy skies and some sunshine. Conditions deteriorated during the afternoon with the sky becoming overcast and increasingly threatening. The risk of showers is moderate at the end of the day. In the afternoon, there is a moderate breeze (15 to 25 km/h) from the south-east with gusts that can exceed 30 km/h.
The mercury will be 27°C for the first free practice session (at 12:30 pm local time – 3:30 pm UK time), before dropping to 24°C for the qualifying session, which is scheduled for 4 pm (7 pm UK time). The humidity level of over 80% will add to the muggy feel of the equatorial climate.
Saturday 12 November – FP2 and Sprint Race
The weather is not expected to improve on Saturday and free practice 2 will be held under overcast skies (15:30 UK time). As on the previous day, the risk of rain continues to increase throughout the afternoon and at the time of writing, there is a very high probability that the Sprint race (starting at 16:00 local time, 19:00 UK time) will be run on a wet track.
Throughout these two sessions, the wind is blowing from the south-east at between 10 and 20 km/h and temperatures will be between 24°C and 22°C.
Sunday 13 November – The race
After a morning with some sunny spells, the weather turns bad again on Sunday afternoon with the possibility of thunderstorms developing. These will be accompanied by heavy showers. At the time of the start of the race (6pm UK time), the temperature will be 26°C and the wind will be from the South-West between 10 and 20 km/h.