What is it about the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, or Interlagos, that makes for such great races? Is it the nature of the track being counter-clockwise? Is it the compact dimensions and surprising elevation changes? Or is it the people who line the track just to watch these technological wonders go around it? Whatever it is, it certainly came to light again as the Brazilian Grand Prix took place on Sunday. In Saturday’s qualifying, the fans sat through about an hour of red-flagged stoppage time as the rains pounded the track. It eventually cleared, but left title leader Jenson Button in 14th place and title hopeful Rubens Barrichello on pole. This was set up to be a monumental race and the first few laps did not disappoint.
At the start of the race, Button had to be very mindful of where he was if he didn’t want the title chase to move on to Abu Dhabi. In the Senna Esses, Kovalainen spun out and bumped in Fisichella, while up front, it was Jarno Trulli running wide of Adrian Sutil and eventually losing control of his car and running into Sutil who then speared across the grass, over the track and clipped Fernando Alonso. In a move that is more reminiscent of NASCAR than it is of F1, Jarno flipped out on Sutil and had a shouting match that seemed about to break into blows. Maybe Jarno is just mentally preparing himself for his test drive with a NASCAR team later this year, who knows? As the safety car departed the course, Barrichello led and Button was up to ninth. With spectacular passes into the first corner on a couple of different laps, Button seemed to be on a mission not to let this championship slip out of his grasp for good. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, had to finish either first or second, but it was not to be his day as he finished ahead of Button, but only by one place in fifth. Barrichello had a shot to finally win his home grand prix, but as the laps wound down, he found himself on a bad set of tires and received a puncture from Lewis Hamilton and finished in eighth position. Jenson wound up fifth and captured his first Formula One world championship of his career. The Brawn team also made it a clean sweep by taking home the constructor’s title. So the final podium positions were Mark Webber, Robert Kubica and Lewis Hamilton. Followed up by Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Sebastian Buemi and Barrichello.
As for my picks, they didn’t come out how I envisioned them, but they did lead to my overall prediction of Brawn wrapping this thing up. I also said that if rain happened, all my predictions would change, and it did happen on Saturday, so that has to figure in right? I think so. At this point, I’ll take anything I can get. So now it is going to be two weeks until the season finale in Abu Dhabi, and all I can say is that this season went way too fast, and that no one will really care about this race, with one exception. Ferrari is now one point behind McLaren for third in the constructor’s title. Although this doesn’t have any real effect on anything, it is still a big rivalry between these two teams and that will be the race to watch for. So stay tuned for Abu Dhabi and see who comes out on top for third place; Ferrari or McLaren!