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Brazil preview quotes - Caterham, Red Bull, Mercedes & more 21 Nov 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 20 April 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, USA, Thursday, 14 November 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 18 April 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, Thursday, 5 September 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Toto Wolff (AUT) Mercedes AMG Executive Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Tom McCullough (GBR) Sauber Head of Track Engineering.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013 Xevi Pujolar (ESP) Williams Chief Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Remi Taffin (FRA), head of Renault Sport F1 track operations in the Press Conference
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 2 November 2012 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 John Booth (GBR) Marussia Racing Team Principal in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, USA, Thursday, 14 November 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 8 September 2013 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Hungaroring, Hungary. Saturday, 27 July 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, USA, Thursday, 14 November 2013 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 12 May 2013 Alan Permane (GBR) Lotus F1 Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 24 August 2013 Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India Formula One Team Owner.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday, 27 October 2012 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Hungaroring, Hungary. Sunday, 28 July 2013

The final round of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship sees the paddock head south from the USA to Brazil and Sao Paulo’s historic Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. Those involved in the Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobras do Brasil 2013 discuss their prospects for the coming weekend…

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of the season, but here we are in Brazil and we have a big weekend ahead of us, for the whole team, our partners and our fans. I have to say it’s been a fantastic year, one in which I’ve learnt so much, more than I could have thought when the first test started back in February, but one in which I’ve enjoyed every minute – the highs and the lows. I think I’m really lucky that I’m with a team that gave me the chance last year to learn, doing things like FP1 in Brazil in 2012 which will definitely be helpful here, but also throughout the season. When we announced that I’d be driving for Caterham back in January I said I knew I had a lot to learn and I needed some time to find my true pace, but the team helped me do just that and mid-season, that’s when it all started to come good. It would obviously be nice to finish on a high now in Brazil and we’re all ready to do that, if the chance comes our way.

“I’m fully ready for what’s ahead this weekend, mentally and physically. I’m feeling good and hopefully it’ll be wet / dry, just like it was in Monaco and Spa when we got into Q2, conditions that I really like and that I think you need to be a bit brave to really take advantage of. Since being in Brazil it’s rained both days at around race time, so who knows, maybe the luck will finally go our way and we’ll have a chance to fight to the flag for the position we’re aiming for. If not, then so be it. I’m a positive guy and I know the whole team has worked incredibly hard all year to keep making progress, so if things don’t go our way it won’t be through lack of effort. All we can do is drive as hard and as fast as possible, and continue to work like we have all year, then we’ll see where we are on Sunday night.”

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying --22nd, 2012 Race - 12th

“We’ve reached the end of the season, a year which I’ve enjoyed and believe I’ve learnt a lot from, both on and off track. There have been a number of really good moments, Bahrain for example when we brought the new parts and the car was suddenly a big step forwards, that felt really good and was a fair reward for the work everyone had put in. And, every time I’ve been to the factory, it’s been an honour to see how dedicated everyone is to pushing the team forwards. We did a cool event with all the staff after quali in Silverstone and it was great to see so many people at the factory on a Saturday, and to see what it meant to their families to be part of a team that keeps growing in the right direction. Sure there have been some tough moments too, but what I’ve liked all year has been the spirit right across the whole team. We started in Australia with a car that we knew would be a challenge to compete with teams ahead, but by Bahrain and then Spain, because of the efforts put in by everyone at the factory and on track, we’d overtaken our nearest rivals in pace terms, a position we’ve held at most of the circuits since then.

“So now we’re in Brazil and it’s the last race of the year. In 2012 I had my highest ever finish in F1 in Brazil, 12th and that was partly down to having a crazy race all around us and that’s what we’re hoping for again 2013, even though this year it’s a fight with the team I was with in 2012! We know we have the pace to be in the right place when the chequered flag falls, and I know that whatever the weather does I’ll be ready to fight right to the end. Now it’s a bit out of our hands, so we’ll do what we’ve done all year – work as hard as we can and grab any opportunities that arise. It’ll be an exciting weekend whatever happens, and one in which there will be quite a lot of attention on us, so I’m excited about what’s ahead.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 3rd, 2012 Race - 4th

“Interlagos is one of my favourite races, the atmosphere at the track is fantastic. The circuit sits in a bowl, giving it the feel of an amphitheatre. It’s like Brands Hatch in the UK, where the crowd sits almost on top of the cars and it results in a fantastic atmosphere on race day. The race has been good to me because I’ve won it twice (2009 and 2011) and I just enjoy being in Sao Paulo.

“The track is at a high altitude, so it’s tough for the engines and the anti-clockwise direction makes it pretty physical for the drivers. There are more left-hand circuits at the back-end of the calendar than there used to be, so our necks are conditioned for them, but it’s still a good workout.

“I feel ready for Brazil and am looking forward to a bit of a different chapter in the future. There would be something wrong if I was disappointed to be finishing, because that’s the reason I’ve made my decision, as a sportsman or woman that’s why we all make those decisions: because in the end the fire is not quite what it was, and you’ve got to accept that. So the time is good for me, one to go and we’ll put on a very good performance, I believe I can do that in Brazil. I’m happy I’m still driving pretty well, making my mark so to speak, but I’ve had my time. I’ve enjoyed it and achieved a few things, so let the guys do their thing in the future.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 4th, 2012 Race - 6th

“This race is always crazy! It is actually a very short lap and it is quite difficult to overtake at Interlagos. The race is long at over 70 laps and it puts a lot of load on your neck because of the long left corners, so the centrifugal forces pull in an unfamiliar counter-clockwise direction.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 10th, 2012 Race - 15th

“The weather forecast for Interlagos looks interesting this weekend and if it does rain, that would be a good opportunity for us as our car is generally quick in the wet. I'm really looking forward to the weekend and everyone at the team is hoping for a great result to end the season on a high. It would be fantastic to achieve second place in the constructors' championship to give all of the team here and back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth an early Christmas present!”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 1st, 2012 Race - DNF

“It's difficult to believe that the final race of my first season with Mercedes AMG Petronas has come round already as this year seems to have flown by. We know what we have to achieve this weekend in Sao Paulo and everyone is so fired up to have a good weekend and to be in that second place in the championship on Sunday afternoon. I had a good race in Austin and it felt great to get that under my belt before the end of the season and I'm really looking forward to Brazil. Interlagos is such a unique track in its location and layout, and I have some great memories from previous races there. The passion of the Brazilian fans is amazing and it's fantastic to see their support over the weekend. We'll be hoping for a smooth weekend but it'll be interesting to see how the predicted weather develops.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“Sao Paulo is always a very special place to bring the Formula One season to a conclusion. The passionate Brazilian fans at Interlagos make for a wonderful atmosphere and the races can certainly be entertaining. The early forecast looks for a mixed set of weather conditions for the weekend which will make our job tougher but that's the challenge we all thrive on. Our team had a solid rather than spectacular weekend in Austin which nonetheless improved our position relative to our competitors in the fight for second place in the Constructors' Championship. Our aim for this weekend is to maintain that second place with a strong showing from Nico and Lewis, and it goes without saying that we would all be delighted if that goal could be achieved.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“We know that races in Interlagos can be unpredictable, both because of the circuit layout and also the weather conditions. So there is no question of complacency or thinking the job is already done. We will work in our usual calm, efficient way to deliver the potential of both cars and secure second place in the Championship. Like always, we will be racing hard to score the maximum number of points possible and end our season on a high.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - 7th, 2012 Race - 5th

“The Brazilian Grand Prix is always special, and that is also because it is the last race of the season. I like it a lot. It’s a cool race, Sao Paulo is an interesting city and the whole weekend is simply special. In addition, the track in Interlagos has so much history. The atmosphere is extraordinary from the moment you arrive there. I have very good memories of Brazil. I achieved my first pole position in mixed conditions there in 2010, and last year I led about 40 laps of the Grand Prix, and that was also under tricky conditions. The Brazilians are always very excited and most of the time the grandstands are packed. I am really looking forward to the weekend.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Interlagos is a track I have never driven on. However, it’s quite short and I usually don’t have many issues learning new tracks. The practice sessions should be enough to get me up to speed. Interlagos is a circuit I always wanted to get to know, so I’m really looking forward to it. When I was younger I had a PlayStation simulator, and I chose this track a lot. Now I will have the chance to drive it in reality. I’m sure I will like it. We have to take a positive approach to the weekend, because we have had very good momentum in the second half of the season. We have to use all the opportunities we have towards the end of the season and to score as many points as we can. One thing you always have to bear in mind in Interlagos is the weather, which can be unpredictable, and you have to make sure you make the right decisions so that it plays into your hands.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace has produced many exciting races over the years due to its overtaking possibilities and uncertain weather patterns. The infield sequence of corners in the second sector is relentless with one corner leading straight into the next. In contrast, from the exit of turn 12 until braking for turn one there is a steady climb along a very long, flat out section where straight line speed is very rewarding, so placing high emphasis on efficiency. The circuit is very short so resulting in a 71-lap race. The same as last year, Pirelli will provide the medium and hard tyre compounds for the race weekend. On the Friday we will also be able to evaluate the 2014 Pirelli tyres for the first time. Since Monza we have had at least one car in Q3, which gives us the best chance of scoring points - that is clearly our aim again for the final race of the season.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2012 Qualifying - 6th, 2012 Race - DNF

“Brazil is one of the most enjoyable races of the season and I always look forward to coming back. It may not have the same impressive infrastructure as some of the newer circuits, but the atmosphere is amazing and the track is very historic and usually leads to very interesting racing as there are a couple of good overtaking opportunities. The circuit layout is technically challenging and you need to find a good balance when setting the car up between the medium-low speed corners in Sector 2 and the long straight as you exit Turn 12. The track surface is also very bumpy so you need a car that can react well to this. Heavy rain is also common and if you react quickly and are on the right tyre at the right time, you can make up a lot of places. This will be my last Grand Prix as a Williams driver after three seasons with the team so it will be an emotional race, and hopefully I can have a good weekend and finish on a high.”

Valtteri Bottas, Williams
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“After a strong performance in Austin where I picked up my first points for the team, I think we will have a good opportunity to finish in the top ten once again in Brazil. The weather is often quite variable at Interlagos which gives teams a chance to play with their strategy and make up places if we see rain during qualifying or the race. I drove in FP1 last year and I have done a lot of work in our simulator which correlates well to the actual track so I'm feeling well prepared. The circuit is anti-clockwise, so has more left handed corners than right handed ones, which is different to most tracks and you need a car that has good downforce and is good in long corners. There is normally a different atmosphere to this race as it's the final one of the season and historically the races are very entertaining, so I'm looking forward to racing here and hopefully finishing my first season in Formula One with a good result that will give us confidence going in to next year.”

Xevi Pujolar, Williams chief race engineer
“We head to the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, more commonly known by its former name, Interlagos, for the final race of the season. It is a challenging track that is known for its long top-speed section up the hill and some high speed turns with lack of run-off area. Despite only being resurfaced a few years ago, the track remains quite bumpy, therefore good ride quality is required to achieve the performance in the grip limited sections. The bumpiness and the anti-clockwise nature of the circuit combined together make it a difficult race for the drivers.

“The circuit has two high-speed sectors, a fast corner combination at the end of the long straight and the twisty infield section that requires a lot of grip, good ride quality and stability. The second sector is very technical and the other sectors are driven by speed. The compromise between downforce and drag is therefore key to getting a good lap time. After an improved performance in Austin, the team are aiming to continue this momentum to finish the season with another points finish.”

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
“Interlagos is a tough one. Sao Paulo is around 800m above sea level, which has a big impact on the power of the engine. As the altitude increases the air pressure drops and the air is thinner with a lower oxygen content. For every 100m the engine loses around 1 percent of its potential power output, meaning the RS27 will produce around 8 percent less power than at a sea-level race such as Korea. For these reasons we generally use engines with a higher mileage on their third race as power sensitivity is not so critical. Over the course of the lap the track also undulates significantly, putting the oil and fuel systems under considerable pressure, particularly the last long left hand corner onto the pit straight. The variety of corners also requires every engine characteristic to be on form; top end power down the long, curved - but also uphill - straight and good driveability through the back section. Interlagos will see us wave good bye to the V8 engines after eight seasons so naturally we want to get a strong finish to give it a good send off.”

Jules Bianchi, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Wow, the last race of the season already. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun. The last race in Austin didn’t start out with much fun but on Sunday we really brought it all together and that performance has given us all a real lift for the final round in Brazil, where there will be a lot of pressure. We’ve done such a great job holding on to 10th place in the championship for so long, so it’s hard to imagine any other outcome than seeing the team achieve what they deserve finally. The weather forecast looks interesting so we’ll need to be on our toes, but we are very good at making our strategy work as well as responding to events in the races at short notice. One thing is for certain, we’ll be giving it everything we’ve got this weekend.”

Max Chilton, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“It’s hard to believe that the final race of the year is upon us. There’s so much to look back on, to learn from and savour but for now we have to keep looking ahead and stay focused on what’s at stake this weekend. Brazil was the scene of so much disappointment last year and as reserve driver for the team I saw that first hand. I think we can all be proud that we have held 10th place all season so that’s what everyone has in their sights. Interlagos is another great circuit that I will relish driving for the first time, but I think the expected wet weather will make it a less than straightforward weekend up and down the field.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“After an ultimately rewarding United States Grand Prix, we head to Brazil feeling confident but with a very clear focus on what we need to do this weekend. Everyone’s attentions are on what is at stake, but we shouldn’t forget just how far we have come to be able to maintain 10th place in the constructors’ championship for the whole season. That in itself is a big achievement, as is the excellent reliability we have shown this year, with Max completing every race so far. Our most recent developments have contributed significantly in enabling us to keep up the fight with Caterham to the last and the evidence of this was clear to see in the race in Austin. We just need to squeeze out every last drop from the package this weekend and hope for better luck than last year.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 2nd, 2012 Race - 1st

“Obviously, I have some extremely happy memories of racing in Brazil - it’s where I won my world championship, back in 2009, and it’s where I took my most recent grand prix win, last year for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. This year has been a tricky one, though, and it’ll be tough heading back to Sao Paulo knowing that the team hasn’t taken a victory since race day last year, but to be honest that only makes me more determined to end the season on a positive note. Finally, Brazil will be my final race in Vodafone overalls. I’ve won eight grands prix in our title partner’s famous rocket-red colours, I’ve driven some of the best cars of my F1 career during my association with them, and I’ve done some incredible things with them too - like driving an F1 car around Mount Panorama, one of my lifelong ambitions. Vodafone has played such a major part in the success of our team over the last seven seasons, and, while I’ll be sad to see them leave, I’ll always be proud of the successes we enjoyed together.”

Sergio Perez, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 13th, 2012 Race - DNF

“My final race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be the second successive race in the Americas, so it’ll be another weekend in front of my fans from Mexico and Latin America, and also another opportunity for me to show my abilities before the winter break. I love Interlagos because it’s such a racer’s circuit - you attack the whole lap. The first corner is a fantastic place for overtaking, and you can pretty much race side-by-side with someone all the way down into Turn Six, which is incredible. The infield section is tricky, because it has a range of elevations and cambers, but it’s a fantastic feeling when you get it right. Finally, Juncao is a tough little corner, because you’re often outbraking yourself on entry, simply because you want to maximise your speed through the corner in order to maintain speed along the long, top straight. Every lap is a challenge and, when you’re racing, an absolute thrill. I love it around here and I’ll be giving it everything to make sure I finish the season in style.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“There are few more satisfyingly challenging venues at which to conclude a long Formula One season than Interlagos, the home of Brazilian motorsport and one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring racetracks in the world. The race will bring the curtain down on the sport’s current set of technical regulations, and will immediately send us busily into the winter as we start to prepare for a new era of turbocharging and energy recovery. It’s an exciting time for the sport - but also a nerve-wracking period for every team as we come to terms with a daunting array of new variables and permutations. For everyone in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, the Brazilian Grand Prix marks the end of another era - it will be the last grand prix of Vodafone’s title partnership with us. Vodafone will step away from that title partnership after having spent seven fantastic seasons with us - during which time we won one world championship and 34 grands prix together, and also took 30 pole positions and 24 fastest laps. We also take home a lot of wonderful shared memories, some of which we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives. Speaking for myself, I’ll certainly never forget the emotional rollercoaster that I found myself on, sitting on the pitwall here at Interlagos, five years ago, as we won the world championship on the very last corner of the very last lap of the very last race. Thank you, Vodafone. Power to you!”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 18th, 2012 Race - DNF

“(Interlagos is) a fantastic track; there’s really no part of it that isn’t great. It suits my driving style so I’m really looking forward to it. The E21 has been performing really well this year and there’s no reason to think it won’t be a great car once again in Brazil. It’s a fantastically challenging track which never seems to let you relax. Even the main start-finish ‘straight’ isn’t boring as it starts uphill with some interesting camber, then gradually turns before finishing at the downhill turn one where it’s so easy to out-brake yourself. If I had to pick favourite parts of Interlagos, I would say the first and last corners. The first corner is really technical and punishes you if you get it wrong, while the last corner is so fast and really puts quite a strain on your body. As a driver I really enjoy these corners. It’s one of the real classic old-style tracks so it’s very hard to pick out a single element; I love it! It’s always fantastic to be on the podium and of course the top step is always our target. We won’t know how well we and our opposition will perform until we’re out on track, but we’re certainly pushing to do the very best we can.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 20th, 2012 Race - 14th

“(Interlagos is) a great circuit and certainly different from Austin. There are some really nice corners, some more ups and downs and it runs anti-clockwise. The weather can be interesting when there’s potential for rain as it can make for some really challenging conditions. It’s a good place for us to end the season as it's one of those tracks where anything can happen. The track itself is quite tricky. It's pretty narrow in parts and you need to make sure you get your lines right or it's very easy to make a mistake. It's also fair to say that it has one of the best atmospheres of the whole season. The fans are incredibly passionate about Formula One. They're very knowledgeable and they turn the whole weekend into a giant party in the stands. It's pretty cool on Sunday when you're on the gird and all the stands are bouncing. It really is a cool place to race Formula One cars. It was quite a smooth weekend up until the race in Austin, but in Brazil it could be a different story so let’s see how it goes. The main thing is to try and get a good result. The car is right up there - we saw that with Romain’s performance in Austin - and it’s really good to drive so the potential is there. Certainly, I don’t want to make any predictions. It could be a difficult weekend or it could be a great weekend; who knows? We just need to work well with the car like we did in Austin, get up to speed quickly so we’re in good shape going into qualifying, and try to avoid any issues in the race. A better start with a stronger first lap will help too of course; if we put all these things together we should have a strong race.”

Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“It’s the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ to score points and we want every single one we can get. We head to the race in fourth position in the constructors’ championship but with third still mathematically possible. You never know what can happen in this sport, so we’re going all out to score everything we can. If you look back over the years we have seen some fantastic races at Interlagos and the fans are always very enthusiastic. The circuit is unique and it seems to always deliver something special. We hope we can offer something to all the teams’ fans to end the season on a high.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“(Interlagos is) quite a tough track for drivers. It runs anti-clockwise with some pretty quick left-hand corners, so drivers certainly know that they are racing there! We wouldn’t be surprised to see the occasional helmet pad making an appearance to help the drivers’ necks. Engineering-wise, it’s a circuit where we can see quite a lot of track evolution over the course of the weekend so you’re trying to set the car up for a somewhat moving target. Historically, the circuit can get quite bumpy which adds an extra feature for consideration. The most recent resurfacing addressed this well, but every year the surface can be just a little bit different.

“Downforce levels are a little bit lighter than in Texas or Abu Dhabi; particularly to maintain top speed on the long straight. This is something we’re paying extra attention to this year, as there’s now a second DRS zone on the straight. Being quick in the twisty bits but slower on the straight might produce a quicker lap for a car on its own, but as there aren’t so many overtaking opportunities at other parts of the circuit it would make the driver a sitting target in race conditions. Last year there wasn’t a DRS zone on the straight so we will revise our approach to setup accordingly. Anything requiring top speed of course relies on engine power, so we’re working closely with Renault to ensure we can extract every last bit of horsepower in the most appropriate fashion for the final outing with the V8s; with the added challenge of the thinner, higher altitude air to contend with. Elsewhere there are some pretty quick corners so extra front wing is a consideration to balance the car. Turns four, five, six, ten and eleven are all challenging. In fact, there’s a lot of challenging corners here! You also need strong change of direction for the low speed turns eight and nine where good traction is required on exit.

“The weather is always a consideration in Interlagos. Sao Paulo can offer anything from blazing sunshine to torrential rain which has to be taken into account, so we’ll have our eyes glued to the radar all weekend. The weather forecast we have currently suggests the chance of rain on Friday with the rest of the weekend being dry; albeit with rather cool temperatures of under 20°C. This means we will have our work cut out to harness the potential of Pirelli’s ultra-conservative hard and medium compound tyre allocation. This could mean that we see two or three laps required from a qualifying run to get the maximum performance from the tyre, which adds a different dimension on Saturday.”

Paul di Resta, Force India
2012 Qualifying - 11th, 2012 Race - 19th

“(The Brazilian Grand Prix) is one of the most atmospheric weekends of the year. The fans are the loudest and very passionate about Formula One. There are drums playing in the grandstands and a party mood all the time. It’s great to see and it definitely gives you a buzz. Because it’s such a small track every hundredth and thousandth of a second becomes even more critical in qualifying. The lap has a very nice flow with a real variation of corners. There are fast sections, slow corners, elevation changes and off-camber parts of the lap. It may be small, but it has everything you need from a track. In terms of points scored this has been my best season in Formula One, but it would be great to round off the year with a special result. The weather forecast looks uncertain and it’s a track which always generates an interesting Grand Prix. It’s the final race for the V8 engines so I really hope we can end the era on a positive note.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Sao Paulo is the complete opposite of somewhere like Abu Dhabi, but the atmosphere in Brazil is always amazing. It’s one of the historic races and the track only has a few corners, but every year it produces an interesting race. One of the reasons is because the main straight is so long. It’s quite easy to follow a car onto the straight and there’s a big chance for slipstreaming. It’s also a difficult circuit to drive despite its short length. It’s bumpy and quite low grip, which makes it hard to get the perfect lap. I want to finish the season well and help the team retain its position in the championship. I had an unlucky weekend in the United States and there is no better way to forget it than with a strong result. I believe the track will suit our car and, should this be a wet race, we could be in a good position for a high-points finish.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“It was important that we secured such strong results in India and Abu Dhabi. As I said before Austin, it gave us some breathing space and we are still 24 points ahead of our nearest competitor. I think the odds are in our favour, but there's no room for complacency: we need to make sure we get the job done in Interlagos. The weather forecast is for some rain (this weekend) and that would introduce an element of unpredictability. That was the case last year when Nico [Hulkenberg] was leading the race, so we have good memories of Interlagos. It's a lovely track too and I'm looking forward to it. It's the last race of a long season and the end of an era before the new rules come into force next season.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“We’ve chosen the hard and medium tyres for Brazil to deal with the different demands of the famous Interlagos circuit, where we always receive a fantastic welcome from the amazingly enthusiastic fans. There are a number of things to look out for in Brazil: despite being resurfaced a few years back the track is always quite bumpy, which makes it hard for the tyres to find traction and increases the physical demands on the drivers. Just like last year, we’ll be giving all the teams the opportunity to test next year’s tyres during Friday free practice, given the fundamental changes in the technical regulations for 2014. Brazil is actually Pirelli’s biggest market, so we’re all really looking forward to getting back there, for a race that marks the end of a technical era.”

More to follow.

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