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Brazil preview quotes - HRT, Cosworth, Virgin, Williams, Renault & more 04 Nov 2010

Bruno Senna (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 23 October 2010 (L to R): Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing with Lucas di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Race Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday, 24 October 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday, 24 October 2010 (L to R): Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, 29 July 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren with Jessica Michibata (JPN). 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Preparations, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Thursday, 23 September 2010

Boasting the famous Senna S, one of the longest straights on the calendar, a bumpy track surface and an anti-clockwise layout, Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit is a true test of driver skill. Add in passionate fans, unpredictable weather and some real overtaking opportunities, and no wonder the venue remains a favourite. Drivers and senior team members look ahead to the race and discuss their prospects…

Bruno Senna, HRT
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“After achieving our best race result of the season, we want to tie in this success and are looking forward to the next race in Brazil. The circuit offers a mix of medium and low speed corners and the second sector is very twisty. As the track is quite bumpy, we will need a car with good mechanical grip and rear stability. As it runs anti-clockwise, the race is going to be a challenge for every driver and their necks. If it is raining like it has already done during other years, it is going to be interesting because the racing line gets very slippery. For both drivers, it is going to be an interesting race as Bruno Senna is racing for the first time in front of the Brazilian crowd and for Christian Klien, as he gets another chance after Singapore to race again. We are hoping to have a good race weekend again.”

Christian Klien, HRT
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“I am excited to come to Brazil where I already raced two times, the last time in 2005, and where I could achieve good results. The circuit is quite challenging and we are racing anti-clockwise which is going to be tough for the neck. There are many slow corners and the long straight at the start-finish-line where high speeds are possible. I am very happy to get a second opportunity to do another Grand Prix here after Singapore and I hope that we are doing a good weekend with positive results.”

Dr Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
“After achieving our best race result of the season, we want to tie in this success and are looking forward to the next race in Brazil. The circuit offers a mix of medium and low speed corners and the second sector is very twisty. As the track is quite bumpy, we will need a car with good mechanical grip and rear stability. As it runs anti-clockwise, the race is going to be a challenge for every driver and their necks. If it is raining like it has already done during other years, it is going to be interesting because the racing line gets very slippery. For both drivers, it is going to be an interesting race as Bruno Senna is racing for the first time in front of the Brazilian crowd and for Christian Klien, as he gets another chance after Singapore to race again. We are hoping to have a good race weekend again.”

Cosworth, engine suppliers to Williams, Lotus, Virgin & HRT
“The Interlagos circuit, officially named after the late Carlos Pace, is all about altitude. At circa 930mbar ambient pressure, it is almost 10 percent lower than the conditions experienced in Korea. This reduces the density of the air going into the engine and, in theory, the power output by the same amount. Whilst this may sound quite dramatic, from a calibration perspective the changes are very straightforward. Some fuel needs to be removed to maintain a constant air-to-fuel ratio, which is carried out in an automated process at every event regardless. The big test for the engine at Sao Paolo is on the exit of Turn 12. The television images do not do justice to the very steep climb at the exit of this corner, which continues through Turns 13 and 14, all taken flat in the dry. Coupled with the power reduction, this makes the climb seem all the longer for the drivers.

"Shift-lights will be fine-tuned to the gradients and gear ratios in order to ensure that the maximum performance is extracted from the engine. Working in an engine’s favour, drag also reduces at altitude, which helps to combat the associated power loss. However so does downforce, meaning the drivers will ultimately have less grip at their disposal. Fortunately, all engine manufacturers are subject to the same laws of physics, so it will be a shared suffering! Another point to note is that the cooling efficiencies also drop-off with the lower ambient density. Whilst the conditions are not as dramatic as those experienced by WRC cars, which endure the rarefied atmosphere of 2140 metres above sea level on the El Condor stage of Rally Argentina, any deficit is partly offset by the lower power output, as less heat is being rejected to the oil and water. One final, relatively positive, side-effect of the altitude is that the internal components of the engine that are loaded due to combustion will have an easier time in Brazil due the reduced cylinder pressures that accompany the low ambient pressures.”

Timo Glock, Virgin
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“Interlagos is a great circuit, fun to drive but also technically challenging. At the beginning of the lap you have one of the best overtaking points in Formula One, as we brake for the Senna ‘S’, a great combination of corners where the track drops away from you. It's always a challenge to balance the car between getting maximum grip through the twisty infield, and minimizing drag for the straights. Some of the corners are quite bumpy too. It's important for us to show the progress we've made over the season and we'll be pushing very hard to demonstrate the speed of the car in the last two races of the season and hopefully we can get a good result here."

Lucas di Grassi, Virgin
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“It is a dream come true to race in a Grand Prix in your home country for the first time. It will be another very difficult race but I am motivated to perform in front of my fans. The key is to keep focused and try to push 100 percent at all times.”

John Booth, Virgin team principal
“It's impossible to believe we are almost at the end of the season, and that in just over a week's time we will have travelled to Abu Dhabi and Virgin Racing's first year in Formula One will be completed. The next two weekends present an immense logistical challenge as we have to dismantle everything here and rebuild it in Abu Dhabi in a very short time but we have grown from strength to strength throughout the season. At the last race in Korea we were at our best level of operational efficiency yet, so I have complete confidence. The whole team has done a fantastic job this year and I hope we get the opportunity to show our true form here. The Interlagos track should suit our car well, we've got a lot of good track data that we've used in the simulator and both Timo and Lucas are keen to do well. For Lucas especially it will be an amazing feeling, racing in a Formula One car in front of his home crowd. The weather remains uncertain; we seem to be saying that at every race this year, but come rain or shine we will be doing our utmost to deliver a strong performance and show we belong on the grid."

Rubens Barrichello, Williams
2009 Qualifying - 1st, 2009 Race - 8th

“This is my favourite race: I love the city, the people and the attitude of the fans. I just love being there, but it goes by too quickly! The track has a great layout. In my opinion, the double right hander of Turns Six and Seven is one of the best corners in the world. There are places to overtake around Interlagos, while there’s always a chance of rain to make things interesting. Achieving a good set-up and qualifying result is important, but it’s not always easy to set the car up - you need strong traction and balance. The Williams tends to suit Brazil, and I have a new engine for this race, so we shall see. From the messages I’ve been receiving, I know that the fans want the team to do well this weekend and we’ll be pushing hard to deliver.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Williams
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“I haven’t been to Brazil before, but I’m definitely looking forward to going there as everyone says how cool it is. Interlagos is another new circuit for me, and one of the few tracks on the calendar that runs anti-clockwise. The track itself looks challenging but interesting. I’m particularly looking forward to driving the Senna S, as well as Turns Six and Seven; the fast, double right hander. After Korea, I can’t wait to get back into the FW32 and go racing again. We’ll be looking to get more points at this race.”

Sam Michael, Williams technical director
“The Brazilian Grand Prix has provided some excellent racing in both wet and dry conditions over the last few years. The track at Interlagos is such a great circuit. It's high downforce, but aerodynamic efficiency is important for the straights. Our target for the race is very clear; to qualify both cars in the top ten and to improve our position in the constructors’ championship.”

Robert Kubica, Renault
2009 Qualifying - 8th, 2009 Race - 2nd

“Brazil is a bit of a strange track and it’s really difficult to predict how we will perform. There is a long straight out of the last corner where the F-duct will give us lots of gain and this is also where the power of the engine will be important. I think that we might have a lottery with the weather because Brazil gets unsettled conditions at this time of year, so it’s likely we will have some wet running, as we did in 2009. When it rains the track has very poor grip and you have to be lucky to get the perfect balance with the car. It’s a difficult track for setting up the car because of the long straight and the uphill sections of the track. You have to choose between top speed, or running a lot of downforce and gaining through the corners, so it’s very difficult to balance those two things. The track has a bit of everything - low speed, high speed and it’s kind of an old school circuit so there are quite a lot of places where you can gain lap time. But, as I said before, it’s quite difficult to get everything in the right place with the balance and the car set-up. You are very near the fans because the grandstands are very close, which makes the feeling on the grid very special - 95 per cent of them are cheering for Brazilians, but it’s still a nice atmosphere. I had a good result there last year, which came as a big surprise. It will be difficult to repeat it this year, but as I said the weather can play a big role at Interlagos and anything can happen there.”

Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“When you have tough races like Japan and Korea, you can’t wait to get back in the car to forget those bad memories, so I’m really looking forward to Interlagos. But it’s difficult to know what to expect because I’ve never been to Brazil before and it’s another new challenge for me. It’s a famous circuit because there have been so many great races there, especially in the last few years with the championship being decided. I remember watching these races on television so it will be great to experience it for real. It’s not a very long lap - just over 4km, but there are a lot of different corners in the lap. It’s also quite undulating so I think this makes it more interesting to try and find the limit in some of the corners. There is a very long straight and a good overtaking opportunity into the first chicane, so clearly the F-duct will very important at this track.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2009 Qualifying - 2nd, 2009 Race - 1st

“Brazil is one of the best tracks of the year in terms of the atmosphere. The Brazilians are fully into their motorsports and have had lot of world champions in the past. I obviously have good memories from last year, it was a nice race to win and we will clearly be trying to get another victory this year. It’s now coming to a pivotal stage of the championship and we need to make the most of every opportunity we can.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2009 Qualifying - 16th, 2009 Race - 4th

“There are a lot of positive things about the upcoming event in Brazil. The circuit is fantastic and the spectators are passionate about racing; the atmosphere during a race is great and the city is interesting. The Interlagos track is a challenging one for the drivers because it’s anti-clockwise which, after a season of racing on clockwise circuits, puts a strain on your neck muscles. Also the big bumps are demanding. The circuit requires good aero-efficiency which should suit the RB6 although the long, uphill start-finish straight will give an advantage to the more powerful engines. It’s always a challenging circuit and the weather often plays a part."

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus
2009 Qualifying - 17th, 2009 Race - 12th

“We had another good result in Korea and we’ll be looking to carry that form through to Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The Sao Paulo circuit is a good challenge. There’s quite a few overtaking points, and a few different lines into some of the corners so you’ll see people attacking each other throughout the whole lap, and particularly at turn one. At the start of the race that corner is pretty critical and there’s always a few guys taking different lines through there. Some go high, some low, but the main thing to think about is that when there are five cars going through there together you’ve just got to do whatever you can to make sure you fit through the gaps and come out unscathed. It’s a pretty hardcore end to the season and I’ll make sure I’m properly prepared by resting a bit and then I’ll do enough training to adjust to the time changes, flight times and the races themselves. To be honest, it’s easier for me than it is for many other people in the team. The last couple of races require a massive push from everyone to setup the garages, go racing and then pack up everything and relocate to Abu Dhabi. By the end of the season we will have all earned some time off, but we have to make sure we stay focused on securing tenth place, and for the next couple of races that’s what it’s all about.”

Jarno Trulli, Lotus
2009 Qualifying - 4th, 2009 Race - DNF

“I’m heading to the USA for a few days to try and acclimatise to the time change, relax and do a bit of training in preparation for the last two races. Brazil is a good circuit to drive on, it’s one of my favourite tracks. I’ve always enjoyed myself there and the atmosphere is great, but it’s not a place where I’ve had a great deal of luck in the races, so hopefully that will change this year. The start is crucial, but if you can get through that without any problems, the rest of the lap is pretty rewarding. There’s none of the long straight / first gear hairpins that you have on quite a few of the modern tracks, so you can get into a good rhythm and really lean on the car into the corners. My best result there was fourth in 2000, and while I know repeating that is obviously unlikely, our goal will be to get both cars across the finish line and go to Abu Dhabi still as the best of the new teams.”

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
“Korea was another good result for us and now we are looking to take that performance through to Brazil. We have two races left this year, and while it will be a pretty tough two weeks for the whole team, it is the same for everyone in the pitlane and we have the experience and the determination to make sure we are in the right position to capitalise on whatever opportunities arise on track. It has been very satisfying this season to see that we have taken full advantage of all the races where there have been a high number of incidents, like Japan and Korea, and that is down to good people working effectively on the pitwall, in the garages and in the cars, and we will make sure we do not let that slip in Brazil or Abu Dhabi.”

Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
“I left Korea on an absolute high. It was an amazing race and it was crucial that we took advantage of the high attrition rate to finish as high as we did. Jarno had put in a very strong performance on Friday and Saturday, particularly in qualifying where he put in a great lap to beat Timo, but his run of bad luck struck again in the race and he did not have the chance to show what he could do. Heikki had an eventful race, and performed brilliantly to take 13th place, and performances like that, and from the whole team all weekend, have helped us consolidate our position as best of the new teams throughout the season. Unfortunately I will not be in Brazil, but I will be watching every second of the race weekend from home. With Abu Dhabi straight afterwards, and a long journey between the two, it will be a hard couple of weeks for everyone in the team, but they are all determined to keep up their concentration levels and work rate to make sure we finish the season on a high. Throughout the year I have seen what a talented, dedicated team we have in Lotus Racing, and that gives me the confidence to know we are in the best possible position to achieve our goals in 2010, and give us the platform to take a step up next year and in seasons beyond.”

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
2009 Qualifying - 10th, 2009 Race - DNF

“In the last few years, Interlagos has usually produced very exciting races, partly because of the track characteristics, but also because the weather can be very changeable. This will be a very important factor and we will need to be ready to tackle all possible scenarios in the best way possible. The lap is fairly short, so we can expect closer times than usual, which means that the slightest little mistake will count even more, because one or two tenths either way can mean having seven or eight cars in front or behind you. We will need to do everything perfectly.

“Naturally, I’ve got great memories of this track because it was here that I secured my two titles, in 2005 and 2006. Every time I go to Sao Paolo it’s a special feeling and the atmosphere is really great. I don’t want to think about the chances of history repeating itself for a third time: I know it is theoretically possible, but that does not count for me. We want to tackle this Grand Prix in the same way as all the others, concentrating on ourselves with our feet on the ground, trying to do a good job, without making mistakes and with the aim of beating our rivals. I have said it before and I say it again: we will do the maths in Abu Dhabi.”

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"Interlagos is a wonderful, challenging circuit. Despite being the second shortest track which we visit, it has an impressive straight and many exciting corners. The turns are mainly medium and low speed meaning that mechanical grip and rear stability is important. The weather is often a big factor as it can range from very hot to very wet. To maximise performance, it is essential to have good car balance through the sequence of corners leading to the uphill section and start - finish section, which in many ways is reminiscent of an oval course. Braking into the first corner is a good overtaking opportunity, but also gives drivers the risk of flat spotting their tyres so caution is advised. These final races for Bridgestone should show our strong performing, but most importantly, safe tyres and also the good work by our engineers advising teams how to make best use of them."

Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

“In 2009 I drove my first ever Formula One race in Brazil when I stood in for Timo Glock at Toyota. I didn’t expect much because I didn't know the Interlagos track and I hadn’t driven an F1 car in dry conditions for eight months. It was a difficult situation for me, but I just believed in myself and my goal was to make no mistakes and finish the race. It's a nice track which is physically very demanding. In the 2009 race it was tough for my neck, especially in the last corner which is extremely long and has high g-forces. The track is also quite technical, but for me the main aspect was the physical one. Of course, this will not be a problem again this year. The weekend was very special for me in every respect. The weather conditions changed constantly, and it was almost impossible to work on the set-up. We just changed tyres time and time again, and I tried to complete as many laps as possible in practice. I’m very much looking forward to my second Brazilian Grand Prix.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying - 19th, 2009 Race - DNF

“I like the Interlagos circuit. It isn’t a very long lap, but it is demanding. We drive anti-clockwise and a special loading on the neck muscles is characteristic to that circuit. My favourite corner is number 6 - an uphill double right hander, fast and blind. We have had unbelievably exciting races in Sao Paulo, and quite often the weather has played a role. I have many special memories from Brazilian Grands Prix. In 2001 I achieved my first podium in F1 with Sauber. It was in the rain and it was unforgettable and emotional. In 2002 all of a sudden there was a medical car on the track, which wasn’t supposed to be there. The fractions of a second when I was hoping the driver would not step out of the car’s door he had just opened seemed to me like an eternity. I wouldn’t have had a chance of avoiding hitting him. Luckily he didn’t get out. For the last four years the championship has been decided in Interlagos, and this can happen again in 2010. In any case, the chances for another exciting race are quite high.”

James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
“It is good to go back to Interlagos, as this race has a great atmosphere and a lot of support from the local fans there. The track is an interesting one with several overtaking opportunities, so potentially making the race an exciting one. Our intention will be to maximise our points in the best way possible, and try to continue the trend of the last few races. The C29 will be the same specification it has been in previous events, but we obviously have several set-up options to consider. One of these is the downforce level. In Interlagos you either gain on the straights or in the corners of the windy infield section, so we will have to strike the right compromise. Because of this we will have to watch our top speeds, but also the balance and grip level of the car in the second part of the lap. Our car’s strength should be to deal with the front tyre wear. Regarding the mechanical set-up, we will have to consider the track’s bumpy surface and also watch for a change of direction and good front-end grip, with traction being important at the end of the lap into the uphill section.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2009 Qualifying - 3rd, 2009 Race - DNF

“The Brazilian Grand Prix is always a really special event on the calendar for me. I love going to South America as I have some heritage there on my father's side and the atmosphere at the track is really something special. The fans are so passionate that you can hear the cheers even when you're in the car! The track itself is very enjoyable and moves up and down over the lap to give a real rollercoaster ride, particularly when you go down into the first corner - the car is almost sideways into the bend. It's tough for sure as the ambient temperatures can be high and it's sometimes very humid and when it rains, it rains hard as we saw in 2008. But the toughest is the bumps: when you're going round the track during the race you really feel each one!

“You need a car that's quick on the straights but also stable through the twisty section at the lower part of the track so getting a good balance is key. Fortunately this year we've got a car that performs well on this type of track as we saw in Spa so I am very optimistic we can do a good job and get some more points.

“Last year I was third on the grid but we know going into the event that it won't be possible this season as we have the penalty from the Korean GP. I didn't have a great race in Korea and now to have a penalty for the next race makes it even more disappointing. We never give up though and as we showed in the last race we have a very strong race pace and quite often a good strategy so we can make positions - Tonio moved up 11 positions in Korea. I'm very motivated to get over the penalty and get back ninth position in the drivers' championship and of course to do everything I can to help the team get to sixth in the constructors'.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India
2009 Qualifying - 15th, 2009 Race - 11th

“Korea was a fantastic race in the end - after a few difficult races we needed a race where things went well, we got to the finish and got some decent points. For the first time in a long time I had a really good feeling with the car. It was as if I was totally connected with it and that meant I could push with complete confidence.

“We showed again that when conditions are tough we can be in the game. The team did a great job in the pit stop, deciding the right moment to change the tyres, and the stop was really quick. Everything was perfect and I had a really strong race. We didn't make any mistakes after that, we made the right overtaking moves at the right time, everything was done at the right moment, and it paid off at the end.

“For me it was really important to show we are back in business and the first thing I said on the radio to my engineers was the luck had to turn one day, sooner or later! Fortunately we were able to show that when things are going right, we are there, and we are fast, and we are ready to do great things. It's good to see this, and we hopefully can have the same kind of result in the next few races.

“I'm now really looking forward to Brazil. In qualifying I was fast in the rain, but then had an aquaplaning moment and started far down the grid but the race was very strong as I got my best finish of the short season there. I like the track, and I think we can be quite competitive there. I've come away from Korea on a positive note so hopefully we can keep that going for the next two races.”

Paul di Resta, Force India test and reserve driver
“Korea was a fascinating experience for me as I saw how the team approaches a brand new track and facilities. Also to have that sort of race with the changing conditions gave a real insight into how the team deals with evolving situations and reacts to them. To get the result we did was also a real boost for the team as we're in such a tight battle for sixth in the championship.

“Now we're off to Brazil, my first trip to the country, and another new track. I've enjoyed every minute of the season so far and preparing for each event, learning the circuits and getting to know the team. Even though it's a busy part of the year for me with the DTM championship nearing its close as well it's very exciting to be part of two such dynamic series at this point in time.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
“We came away from Korea pretty pleased with the result, particularly after a tough couple of races. Tonio did a great job over the race and to get eight more points was a brilliant effort. Adrian of course had a more difficult time but we managed to extend the gap over Williams by a point and regain our confidence levels. We can of course still optimise our performance but to come away with a slightly larger cushion for sixth in the championship is a satisfying step at this stage in the game.

“I hope that Interlagos will be a good track for us. It's lower downforce, which should play to the strengths of the car, and both drivers have performed well at the track in the past. It can also throw up unpredictable conditions, which we have shown we can shine in at events like Canada and Korea this year. Last year we qualified well and although the competition has got a whole lot tougher and closer I'm still hopeful we can put on a good show.

“We're bringing some small aero updates again and a couple of mechanical changes to tease everything we can out of the car. We felt that we didn't get the maximum potential from the car in qualifying in Korea, so we'll try to improve on that in Brazil to set us up for a better race. It's really the final push so we're putting all our heads together to get everything we can.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP
2009 Qualifying - 7th, 2009 Race - DNF

"The Brazilian fans are always fantastic and Interlagos is a really fun track to drive so I'm looking forward to the weekend in Sao Paulo. The combination of the tight infield and the long straight make the track layout very unique. The fact that Interlagos is at a very high altitude level means that the engine has less power due to the thinner air and the car has less grip and lower downforce which is a challenge. There are good overtaking opportunities and the weather always seems to play a part in the race weekend to make it more unpredictable. It was disappointing not to finish the race in Korea from such a strong position but our performance over the weekend was good and we were able to get the most out of the car. It would be nice to continue this and finish the season with strong performances."

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a

"The season is coming to an end and I have to say that I am very impressed with how our guys have coped with it, especially in the last few flyaway races. Even though we have not had any big developments recently, we have still delivered promising performances. The characteristics of the Interlagos circuit are not too far away from those of the last races so we can go to Brazil in quite a confident mood. Our fighting spirit is good and we would like to finish the season in a positive way. So I am looking forward to going to Sao Paulo and hopefully achieving another result that I can be happy with."

Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"The Brazilian Grand Prix is always a fantastic occasion and with the intense battle for the world championship, it will be an exciting weekend for the fans at the circuit and watching around the world. Interlagos provides several challenges with its high altitude location and the bumpy surface creating two of the key engineering considerations when setting up the car. We have had a run of strong results recently, considering our relative performance position, and I am optimistic that we can continue the recent trend at the last two races. Of course this is not a position that we are happy with and we are working very hard to ensure that we are back where we want to be next year, challenging for race wins."

Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"The last two races of a very exciting Formula One season will take place within eight days in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi which is an enormous challenge at the end of a long and demanding season. Everybody at the Mercedes GP Petronas team is fully motivated as the last five races have seen our team achieve the best possible results with our current technical package. We have finished regularly behind the World Championship contenders and sometimes between them. At the last race in Korea, we showed better potential with Michael finishing in fourth place and Nico ahead of the eventual second-placed finisher Lewis Hamilton, prior to being taken out of the race. Everybody in our team is fully focused and concentrated to finish the season with the best possible results and build the baseline for better results on a regular basis in 2011."

Jenson Button, McLaren
2009 Qualifying - 14th, 2009 Race - 5th

“The Brazilian Grand Prix is a special race for me because it’s where I won the world championship last year. This will be the first time I’ve been back since then, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“Interlagos is an incredible racetrack - a place where you can race hard, where all your mistakes are punished and where you’re really rewarded for attacking. I think our package will be well suited to this circuit.

“When I was here last year I learnt an important lesson: I qualified 14th while my team mate put his car on pole - but when I thought it was almost all over, I threw caution to the wind and drove one of the most attacking, best drives of my F1 career. And that’s something that I’ll be taking with me into this weekend, when I know I’ll not only need a strong result, but also to rely on others failing to score to keep me in the hunt for the championship.

“Given the points situation, I know that I face an uphill struggle to hold on to the world title, but I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got this weekend to stay in contention. I fought hard to become the 2009 world champion, and I won’t give up my title without a fight.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2009 Qualifying - 18th, 2009 Race - 3rd

“I always seem to have a unique experience at Brazil. In my first year in Formula One, I battled past a load of cars but could only finish seventh, losing out on the world championship. The following year, I had another tricky race, but managed to take fifth position on the final lap to win the world title. Last year, we got qualifying wrong, I started 17th and used KERS to boost my way up to third in one of the best races of my career. I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like a nice, straightforward race this year!

“We go to Brazil knowing that we may not have the fastest car, but we’ll have a decent package that should work well. We have a strong engine and good straight-line speed, so I think we’ll still be quick - crucially, that combination should give us the opportunity to pass into the first corner, which is probably the best overtaking spot on the track.

“I know the world championship is figuring in everybody’s thoughts at the moment, but I’m not thinking about it too much: I need to get a good result in Brazil to take the fight to Abu Dhabi, so that’s my priority. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a very tight battle.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“We’re now reaching the critical climax of this year’s world championship. With the two final races spread just one week apart, and five drivers still in the hunt for overall honours, it’s a fascinating and thrilling prospect for our sport.

“If Formula One has taught us competitors one thing over the past couple of years, it’s to never give up hope until the odds are no longer possible, and that the most unexpected outcome can become a very real and viable possibility sooner than you can readily imagine.

“With that in mind, we go to Brazil, and then on to Abu Dhabi, still determined to wrest both world championships. Lewis is well-placed in the drivers’ championship. While Jenson lies 42 points adrift, he has vowed to fight on. As the reigning world champion, and a great driver, he knows better than most that you can’t lift the title without being a resolute fighter. That’s exactly why we hired him, and we’ll be supporting him fully this weekend.

“As for the constructors’ championship, we’re only 27 points off the top spot - a very slender margin, and one that both Jenson and Lewis are convinced we can bridge by the time the chequered flag falls in Abu Dhabi.

“We’re ready for battle and working harder than ever to win both world championships.”

More to follow

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