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2021 Brazil GP: What You Need To Know

- Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel & Fernando Alonso at the 2010 Brazilian GP.

The 2021 Brazilian GP, now known as the São Paulo Grand Prix, will be held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, also referred to as Interlagos, on 14 November 2021.

The Interlagos track was first built in 1938, and like most pre-WWII tracks, it features banked corners (where the vehicle will incline towards the inside of the turn). Essentially, the drivers will be racing through a half-oval shape for the start of their lap.

- São Paulo banked corner, 2010 GP.

The São Paulo track is also 800 meters above sea level, while this is not as bad as Mexico last week, it still must be accounted for. Drivers and teams will need to take into consideration once again, the thinning air and cooling systems.

However, one thing different from last weekends race in Mexico, is Sprint qualifying. The F1 Sprint will make a return for the third time this year in Brazil, having previously been showcased at Silverstone and Monza.

So, how does this work?

On the Friday, there will be just one practice session instead of the traditional two one-hour practice sessions. Qualifying will also take place on the Friday, the results of which will be used to determine the starting grid for the Sprint race held on Saturday. Furthermore, the Saturday will consist of another one-hour free practice session then followed by the Sprint race. The format for Sunday remains the same.

To put it simply, the schedule should look something like this:

  • Friday AM - 60 minutes Free Practice 1

  • Friday PM - Q1, Q2, Q3 sessions to determine the starting grid for Sprint qualifying

  • Saturday AM - 60 minutes Free Practice 2

  • Saturday PM - 100km Sprint race qualifying

  • Sunday - normal GP race

This will be the last Sprint race weekend of the 2021 season, with there still being some uncertainty as to whether or not the format will continue into future seasons. It will all depend on fan feedback.

Now, down to predictions.

With Max Verstappen having won the previous two races in Mexico and the US, if he can secure a win in Brazil it looks promising that he will soon hold the title of 2021 Formula One World Champion.

Verstappen has already proven himself at Interlagos, being the current reining champion after securing a win there in 2019. Hamilton however, has only ever won in Brazil twice in his entire career.

As we have said before, Red Bull's car is much better suited to high-altitude tracks, putting them at an even bigger advantage. With Interlagos featuring many low and medium speed turns, Mercedes may struggle as their car tends to do better on high-speed straights. One may argue that Verstappen, on the other hand, will thrive at this downforce track.

It's looking like it'll be the third race win in a row for Max. Although, theres no doubt that a Hamilton win will come soon enough.

With not long left in the 2021 season, it's shaping up to be a close call indeed.

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