Force India Ready to Fight Back at Interlagos
8 November 2018 | Ravenol Marketing
This weekend our F1 Technical Partners, Racing Point Force India, are in Brazil, home of Samba and F1 legend Ayrton Senna, for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The race is held at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paolo, better known by the suburb it’s located in – Interlagos.
Interlagos is known to be tough on the drivers and the cars alike. It’s one of only a handful of anti-clockwise circuits on the calendar, is quite rough, despite regular resurfacing, and has lots of elevation changes as the track follows the terrain. Also, as it’s a very old circuit, many of the corners are banked, adding extra pressure on the cars. It’s the shortest circuit of the year, but has a long pit lane, which will put some teams off undercut strategies. Thankfully, Interlagos is also known as a good circuit for overtaking – the passionate Brazilian fans wouldn’t have it any other way!
So hopefully there will be no more instances of the Force Indias being stuck behind slower cars in this race. After disappointment at COTA and Mexico, the drivers are both looking forward to putting some points on the table. So we caught up with Force India’s Drivers’ Eye to find out how Sergio “Checo” Perez and Esteban Ocon were feeling about the race:
“Interlagos is a really fun track, a proper Formula One classic,” Checo told them. “It’s a short lap with a good flow but you need to be precise in every corner, otherwise your rhythm is compromised. There are many interesting corners but a really important one is the final left hander before the uphill run to the finish line. You need to carry good speed through it and onto the straight in order to attack the first corner going into the next lap.
“You need a car that is stable at the rear, with not much understeer, so that you can make the most of all the changes of direction in the middle sector. The weather can also be interesting: it can be very warm and humid and it rains often, and I enjoy this unpredictability.
“We had a couple of difficult races in Austin and Mexico, where we didn’t maximise our potential. We’ve missed out on good points, especially in Mexico. I’m still aiming to finish as “best of the rest” in the drivers’ championship and I need a strong weekend to make up the points we have missed recently.”
“I really enjoy racing in Brazil and it’s just a fun weekend,” his team mate Esteban added. “The atmosphere on the grid is special: the fans love Formula One and you can feel the legacy of Ayrton Senna everywhere. There is so much passion from the people, from the moment we land to the moment we leave – we get so much support.
“The track itself is one of my favourites because you have all type of corners. You need a good car in the high-speed sections – a car you can trust – but at the same time you need a car that doesn’t slide around in the low-speed corners. This is very important, especially not to compromise the final part of the lap.
“I felt really disappointed after the Mexico race. When you have a quick car and your race if effectively over on lap one it’s so frustrating. I've learned from the experience in Mexico and will work hard to get back in the points this weekend. We need it for the championship because it’s still a close fight with McLaren – and it’s the same in the drivers’ championship. We will keep fighting until the end.”