The hardest braking point on the Autódromo Jose Carlos Pace lies ahead of the first corner. The driver has to decelerate here by 245 km/h within 1.42 seconds over just 137 metres. Brembo facts: in the process 2,527 kW of power get released, while 5.5 G are exerted on the driver, who still has to push with 165 kg onto the brake.
T1: A tricky downhill turn at the end of a long straight, the nature of the first corner makes it easy for drivers to out-brake themselves. Turn 1 is the hardest stop of the circuit as the cars arrive at over 330kph and drop to just 110kph on entry.
T2: It’s important to get a good exit from Turn 1; carrying the momentum on through Turn 2 into the high speed Turn 3 and subsequently to the first DRS straight.
T4: The first DRS zone along the back straight presents a good overtaking opportunity heading into Turn 4, which along with Turns 5, 6 and 7 is quite high speed before entering in to the lower speed Turn 8. From T2 to the entry for T6 the driver is at full throttle for 17 secs, with just a dab on the brakes through Turn 4.
The MGU-K can recover energy through the short corners, notably Turn 1, 8 and 10.
T8: Flat kerbs through the low speed Turns 8 and 10 allow drivers a degree of freedom in their apex point.
T12: Turn 12 is crucial for a quick lap, with exit speed defining how fast you can charge up the hill and along the start / finish straight. The ICE will be straining on the edge of its power as the elevation change is just shy of 40m from the exit of Turn 12 to the braking point of Turn 1.
Start-finish: A second DRS zone – running for 500m along the start/finish straight – boosts what is already a good spot for overtaking.
Power Unit notes
Interlagos sits in the upper bracket for ICE difficulty. The circuit may be short, but the long, uphill pit straight takes up a considerable percentage of the lap. The driver will be at full pedal travel for around 15secs, around 25% distance, or 20% of the overall lap time.
Interlagos sits 800m above sea level. Until the Mexican GP it was the highest race of the year by a long way, but now seems low by comparison to the giddy heights of Mexico City! The turbo will be spinning at a much higher speed to generate the same power as a sea level event, rotating at very close to its maximum. But, having worked reliably at the 2,200m Mexican GP, Interlagos is no longer the sternest test of the year.
Due to the long periods of full throttle, the MGU-H has ample opportunity to recover lost exhaust energy. However, energy recovery is not necessarily critical as fuel consumption is relatively low due to the high altitude and lower air density.