McLaren, Toro Rosso and Red Bull preview the Brazilian Grand prix

McLaren, Toro Rosso and Red Bull preview the Brazilian Grand prix

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The McLaren, Toro Rosso and Red Bull teams preview the penultimate round of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship – the Brazilian Grand prix.

Fernando Alonso

“I’m excited to return to Interlagos because it’s an incredible circuit and I’ve always enjoyed racing there. It’s a track where many great races have taken place and it’s always a little bit unpredictable.”

“I’m also looking forward to putting the last two race weekends behind me and focussing on extracting the performance we have been working hard to maximise in our car, but haven’t been able to show. I haven’t had the chance to fight for a couple of grands prix now, so I hope we can have a clean battle and show what’s possible.”

“The Brazilian fans are always super passionate and it’s clear Interlagos is one of those legendary tracks that is so famous in the motorsport world. Great champions have driven on this circuit, and with this year’s cars it’ll feel even faster and more exciting than before.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

“Last year my experience of Interlagos was a short one as I was involved in an incident on the first lap and was forced to retire, so I hope we don’t see a repeat for either myself or Fernando this weekend!”

“From the time I did spend driving the track, I thought it was a really cool circuit and can see why so many drivers from history talk about it as being one of the best in the world. It’s fast and flowing and you can really attack the corners.”

“Points in Mexico were a great boost for the team, and both Fernando and I will be chasing a solid performance in Brazil. As usual we’ll work hard on our preparation and strategy to try and get the best possible result in front of the Brazilian fans.”

Pierre Gasly:

“Last year was my first race in Sao Paulo and I enjoyed the experience. You get a real feel for just how important Formula 1 is in Brazil, with Ayrton Senna and the other champions it produced in the past. I really appreciated that and I also thought the track layout was very good. It has a lot of character with an interesting variety of corners and kerbs that you have to ride, I enjoyed driving it. In the race, I started from down the back of the grid with penalties and managed to finish not far off the points in twelfth. I’m looking forward to fighting for points again, after we have taken tactical penalties in the last few races to maximise our chances in these final two races of the season.”

“It often rains in Sao Paulo and I love driving in the wet, because it makes life a bit more complicated for the drivers so it can be more fun and the driver has a greater impact on performance. Naturally, coming from Normandy, I drove a lot in the wet when I was starting in karts. Another interesting point is that the track is anticlockwise and all of the straights are not really straight, so even there you are always turning, sometimes for around 15 seconds in the opposite direction to usual. I remember from last year you can feel it in your neck, but I’ve prepared for that specifically, so I don’t expect any problems.”

Brendon Hartley:

“My pace in the last few events has been really fantastic and I had a great points finish in Austin, followed by a strong turn of speed in Mexico, even if it didn’t deliver the result we might have deserved. Therefore, I’m going into the last two races of the year in a really positive frame of mind. We will have the latest spec Honda engine on board and we know that it delivers much more performance. On top of that, the new aero kit adds some value and seems to suit my driving style.”

“I enjoy going to Brazil. It’s an old-school track, with the fans making for a great atmosphere. It’s got interesting changes of elevation and camber and a bit of everything. I know the track well having raced there in WEC. Last year in F1, I unfortunately had to retire with a technical problem, so I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend. The weather can be a factor, producing interesting races at this track in the past, and this year we’ve seen our package goes well in tricky conditions. Whatever the weather, I believe we can be in good shape and we will be targeting some more points.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“The atmosphere in Brazil is cool and I had a good race coming through the field there last year. It’s a track that isn’t always that easy to pass on, but last year proved that it can be done and I’m looking forward to going back. The lap is quite short and lacks high-speed corners but it’s definitely grown on me over the years. The weather can also play a big part in this race, so let’s hope the on-track action can live up to the off-track atmosphere.”

“The Drivers’ Parade there is cool with the noise from all the local fans and the air horns, it has a kind of carnival feel which gives you a boost of energy before you get in the car. We always have a big team dinner there which creates a great atmosphere for everyone. It goes without saying that I’m looking for a strong finish to round off the season with the Team and I will be pushing as hard as ever to achieve this.”

Max Verstappen

“In general Interlagos doesn’t suit our car that well. But after finishing on the podium there in 2016 and winning last week in Mexico, anything can happen in the race. I’ve had some great battles and overtakes there and I’m hoping for another exciting race. The Brazilian fans are so loud and because the narrow starting grid is so close to the grandstand you can hear them cheering when you’re sat on the grid. The food in Brazil is really good and the Churrascaria restaurants have amazing grilled meat. Although it’s nearly the end of the season I still have to be careful what I eat in order to stay in shape, which is a shame as I would like to enjoy the local cuisine even more.”

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