The Brazilian Grand Prix Preview 18 Oct 2007
McLarens Lewis Hamilton might have made things difficult for himself after sliding into the gravel trap in the pit road in China, but assuming 100 percent reliability for the two McLaren and Ferrari drivers in Brazil this weekend, the odds still favour him becoming the first rookie world champion.
Currently he has 107 points to Fernando Alonsos 103 and outsider Kimi Raikkonens 100. If he wins, its all over, cut and dried as he will have an untoppable 117 points. If Fernando Alonso wins, Hamilton must be second; they would have 113 and 115 points respectively.
If Alonso wins and Hamilton were third, they would each have 113 points, but Alonso would get the nod on the basis of five wins to Hamiltons four.
The situation regarding Raikkonen is more straightforward. He must win, with Alonso no higher than third and Hamilton no higher than sixth. That would give Raikkonen and Hamilton 110 points each and Alonso 109, and Raikkonen would win six victories to four apiece for the McLaren drivers.
The easiest situation for Hamilton would be for Raikkonen to win from either Alonso or Felipe Massa, and to finish fourth himself. That would give Raikkonen 110 points; if Alonso were second he would have 111, third he would have 109; Hamilton would have 112.
All four drivers will be going for the win, however, since they are racers. Three of them need to think that way for their title aspirations, while another win at home would be balm for Massa after his challenge fell apart in Japan and China.
I will approach the race in the same way, to win, Hamilton says. Some part of my mind will be focused on the end result - winning the world championship not the race - but I go to win. I understand the position Im in and what I have to do. I aim on finishing on the podium and know I cant take risks. Maybe I took a risk at the last race.
Ive got a lot of confidence in myself. It has to be a hard hit knowing the world championship was there and I didnt take it but its still there to win. In spite of having a DNF in China Im still in the lead and Ive still got a good chance of winning so Im feeling pretty cool as Im in the best position to do that. Im mentally stronger after the weekend in China. Some drivers would be on the back foot, but Ive taken the negatives and made them into positives.
Slightly overshadowed by all championship fight, Williams and Red Bull will be going at it head-to-head for fourth place in the constructors championship, with Kazuki Nakajima making his Formula One race debut for Williams as the replacement for retired Alex Wurz. The 22 year-old GP2 racer is sponsored by engine supplier Toyota, and how well he goes in the race could influence his chances of graduating fulltime to Formula One racing in 2008.