Brazilian Grand Prix: Title decided but still much to play for at Interlagos

Formula 1

Record-breaker Hamilton one of the all-time best

The title is decided, but there is plenty of consequence about the remaining two races of the Formula 1 season, starting in Brazil this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton won’t be content with clinching the title – he wants to rub the noses of Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel in his success and their failure.

Vettel will be desperate to halt the alarming implosion, both personal and collective, that has derailed Ferrari’s title challenge in remarkable fashion in the last month and a half.

And Red Bull want to keep up the momentum that has seen their driver Max Verstappen win two of the last four races and outscore anyone else over that period, as they lay the foundations for what they hope will be a title challenge in 2018.

There is also the question of who will drive a Williams next year, with the very real prospect that could be one of the great human interest stories and the return of Robert Kubica seven years after suffering life-changing injuries. And what is threatening to become a bitter political fight over the future direction of the sport.

Driving like a man possessed: Max Verstappen was the star of the the show at Interlagos in treacherous conditions last year, surviving spins, overtaking both Ferraris and gaining 10 places in the closing laps to finish third on the podium.

The first of two races at which all this will play out before F1 goes into hibernation, on a sporting level at least, is one of the most charismatic of the year.

Interlagos is a cauldron of intensity, a lap just over a minute long with a demanding infield section and long, curling pit straight that seems to promote action and drama.

The enthusiastic crowd, chanting and cheering and wildly enthusiastic, are crammed up against the track as the cars hurtle past at close to 200mph.

Who will the fanatical Brazilian following be cheering for this year?

The atmosphere is electric – sometimes literally; a rainstorm is never far away, such as the one that hit last year and prompted Verstappen to produce a drive for the ages.

It all takes place in one of the, er, scruffier parts of a vast, sprawling metropolis, where crime is a problem and visitors need to keep their wits about them.

As such, it is hardly a relaxing few days. There is an edge to the city, just as there is to the track. But as an experience, there is nothing quite like it.

Andrew Benson, chief F1 writer

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The track

Ericsson explores

How to follow on BBC Sport

BBC Sport has live coverage of all the season’s races on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live online commentary on the BBC Sport website and mobile app – including audience interaction, expert analysis, debate, voting, features, interviews and video content.

All times GMT and are subject to change.

Brazilian Grand Prix coverage details
Date Session Time Radio coverage (available online) Online text commentary
Friday, 10 November First practice 11:55-13:35 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 11:30
Second practice 15:55-17:35 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 15:30
Saturday, 11 November Third practice 12:55-14:05 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 12:30
Qualifying 15:55-17:05 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 15:00
Sunday, 12 November Race 15:30-18:00 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 14:00
Monday, 13 November Review 04:30-05:00 BBC Radio 5 live

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