With the 2018 F1 championship race signed, sealed, and delivered to Lewis Hamilton for the drivers, it’s now a race to the line for the constructors’ championship. Mercedes-Benz sits on 585 points, 55 ahead of Ferrari’s 530. Red Bull are a distant third on 362.
There’s further news for the F1 category, with confirmation that Vietnam will host a round in the capital, Hanoi, in 2020. The track, with 22 turns, will be just the fourth street based circuit, alongside Monaco, Singapore, and Azerbaijan. Overall length is looking to be 5,565 meters and is in the heart of the bustling metropolis.
It’s a design that’s said to take inspiration from many of the world’s famous tracks, including the Nurburgring for the first two turns, 12 to 15 from Monaco, and Malaysia’s Sepang for the concluding turns.
This weekend sees Brazil host the penultimate round of the 2018 F1 season at Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The tight and twisty 4.3 kilometre long circuit, best known as Interlagos, first hosted a round of the Formula 1 championship in 1973. Development of the track goes back to 1938 and was inspired by elements of existing circuits in the U.K., U.S, and France. There are banked corners, popular with the design ethic of the time, with the original track an oval layout.
Local lad Emerson Fittipaldi was the winner of the first two races, and in doing so created an atmosphere that continues today for the Brazilian F1 round. It’s a party place and it’s said that if you attend a F1 round for the atmosphere, then Interlagos must be in the list.
With Hamilton sealing the championship in Mexico, attention turns to the second and third place getters. It’s looking exceedingly likely that Vettel will bring home second, as Kimi Raikkonen’s late season flourish has him in third and on 236 points, 58 behind his team mate Sebastian Vettel. The top five is rounded out by Hamilton’s wingman, Valtteri Bottas, on 227, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen breathing down his neck on 216.
Interlagos is a quick circuit. Max Verstappen holds the lap record of 1:11.044, set in 2017. Lap count is 71 for a race distance of just over 305 kilometres. Verstappen will be aiming to repeat his win at the track last year as well, whilst his current team mate, Daniel Ricciardo, will be hoping history doesn’t repeat after seeing DNF against his name for last year’s race. 2018 champ Hamilton finished a lowly ninth.
Practice commences at 11am local time, November 9th, with qualifying scheduled for a 15:00 local time start on Saturday. Race start time is 15:10 local time on Sunday, November 11th, the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities for WW1.