The final race of the 2013 season is at Brazil’s excellent Interlagos circuit. This is one of my favourites. There’s great opportunity for passing and it rains very often, meaning that we may well get to see the intermediate and wet tyres (I’m not sure, but I can’t recall a wet race this year).
On the driver market, it’s quite remarkable just how long this Quantum/Lotus deal has taken to get done, and the money still hasn’t arrived. Lotus still want Hulkenberg, but he hasn’t been signed yet. It’s nonsensical. If Sauber can afford to keep him (afford in the sense of taking talent over money) then how can Lotus not afford to hire him?
For now, they’re still waiting, but it can’t last forever. After Hulkenberg, there’ll be many dominos waiting to tumble. Di Resta and Perez will scramble for the leftovers after (presumably) Maldonado’s money (and certainly not his manners) gets him a seat at a cash-strapped team. A couple of decent drivers could well leave the sport this year, sadly.
At the moment the forecast is it’ll be dry over Saturday and Sunday, but there are a few days to go and that could change. So, be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecasts.
If it is soggy off and on then that could really suit Button and Hulkenberg. Button’s exploits in changing conditions, particularly making the right tyre calls himself, is well-known. In 2009, when he won the title, he sealed it by driving through most of the field at Interlagos to get a solid points finish after a poor qualifying. Hulkenberg got pole here in… 2010, I think, for Williams. Last year he was challenging Hamilton for the win in changing conditions when his Force India slid slightly, but because they were so close there was a collision and he (somewhat unfairly, perhaps) got a drive-through penalty. If it’s dry, those two drivers will probably be top 10 but nowhere near the sharp end.
However, if it’s dry it’ll be worth seeing how the tyres (unsure at this stage what compounds are being used) behave. The less conservative the choice the more overtaking and opportunities for strategic shenanigans there will be.
As always, your tips, insights, and so forth are welcome in the comments.