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Brazilian Grand Prix: Race predictions

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4 mins read
Brazilian Grand Prix e1

With the season coming to an end, Formula One heads to São Paulo for the penultimate race of the year.

Even though both the season’s championships have been wrapped up, there still are plenty of things to fight for. Ferrari and Mercedes are involved in a tight scrap for P2 in the Constructors’, while Charles Leclerc and Sergio Pérez are still battling it out for P2 in the Drivers’.

The São Paulo race is also the second-last chance for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes to score their first win of the season, and with the German team having fought valiantly in Mexico, we finally might see three teams fighting for the victory in São Paulo.

As racing heads to São Paulo this weekend, here are a few things that might happen at the Brazilian Grand Prix. 

Also read: Top 10 Best Formula One Race Tracks – RANKED

Keep moving forward 

It’s no secret that Mercedes have struggled throughout the 2022 season, and it is looking increasingly likely that the Silver Arrows might have their first winless season since 2011. 

The German team weren’t able to get on top of the new regulations and that saw them start off on a slow note. Since then, however, they have brought about multiple updates which have seen them close the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari up front. One of their strongest performances of the season came during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, which saw George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualify second and third respectively. Then, on raceday, Hamilton even led the race for multiple laps and had a decent chance of taking the win had the team run a different strategy.

The Mexican race was where Mercedes brought their season’s final upgrades, which seemed to have worked. Heading to Brazil, things are looking bright for the German team. They certainly had strong straight-line speed in Mexico, which even helped Hamilton keep Sergio Pérez behind him to secure P2. The team should once again be in the mix for the win in Brazil.

Brazil, the country which granted Lewis Hamilton honorary citizenship last year and also the venue where he secured his first-ever Formula One championship, would be the ideal place for the seven-time World Champion to secure his first victory of the season and keep his streak of winning a race in every single season for the last 15 years. 

Given that it is a Sprint weekend, there are more chances for Mercedes to take a win.

Pole prediction: Max Verstappen / Charles Leclerc / Lewis Hamilton

Win prediction: Red Bull / Ferrari / Mercedes

Fighting tooth and nail 

While the battle at the front of the grid is practically non-existent given how strong Red Bull have been for almost the majority of the season, the battle between McLaren and Alpine has made up for that.

Alpine and McLaren have been involved in a battle for P4 in the Constructors’, with McLaren having started strongly, though Alpine have answered quickly and lately the French team are the ones who have had the edge on multiple occasions.

The current standings have Alpine seven points ahead of McLaren after the Mexican Grand Prix, but it should never have been this close. The French team have had a far superior car than McLaren lately, but numerous reliability issues, mainly for Fernando Alonso, have hurt their chances. While McLaren might not have as strong a car as the French team, they certainly have had a more reliable car and that has been a deciding factor in them staying so close in the P4 battle. 

Heading to Brazil, it should be yet another close weekend between Alpine and McLaren, but expect Alpine to fare a bit stronger should they have a car which can finish the race. The French team should finish ahead of McLaren in Brazil, and if things fall into place for them, they could be in contention for a podium place as well and given it is a Sprint weekend. If Alpine manage to capitalise on the Sprint event, they could leave Brazil with a solid haul of points from not only the race but the Sprint as well. 

Dark horses for podium: Alpine / McLaren

Lower-table fight

While for the majority of the season Alfa Romeo seemed like they would secure that sixth spot in the Championship standings without much competition, the last couple of races have finally given the Swiss team some serious competition for that spot.

British team Aston Martin, who are arguably the second slowest team in the Championship, have made a stunning fightback in the lower-midfield battle, and with four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel leading from the front, Aston Martin are just four points behind Alfa Romeo in the Constructors’ fight with two races to go. Mexico was a crucial race in that regard, with Aston Martin struggling throughout the weekend and failing to score any points, while Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas scored a solitary point to help the team increase their lead ever so slightly.

While Alfa Romeo have had multiple mechanical and technical issues this season that have hampered both Bottas and Guanyu Zhou’s progress, Aston Martin, following a slow start, have made up by scoring some solid points in the last few races. 

With the battle between the two is neck-and-neck, expect Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin to go hard on the track in Brazil, with the British team holding a slight edge over the Swiss team. Aston Martin should have a strong race in Brazil, which should make the battle between the two even more exciting and take that sixth-place scrap for the Constructors’ to the last race of the year. 

Race details: When and where to watch (India)

Circuit: Autódromo José Carlos Pace/ Interlagos Circuit 

Venue: São Paulo, Brazil

Practice Session 1 time: 21:00 (IST), 11 November

Qualifying Session time: 00:30 (IST), 12 November

Practice Session 2 time: 21:00 (IST), 12 November

Sprint Session time: 01:00 (IST), 13 November

Main race time: 23:30 (IST), 13 November

Where to watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar

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