The 19th stage of the Formula 1 World Championship has started on the Interlagos track in Brazil. Fans will face a huge number of confrontations between pilots and teams – the decisive moment has come in the battle for the world title, for the Constructors ‘Cup and for sponsors’ money. “MK-Sport” tells what you should watch especially carefully.
New weekend format
In Brazil, for the third time this season, we will see the modified structure of the stage. F-1 bosses, in pursuit of entertainment, experiment with everything that can somehow be changed. In 2021, a different competition format is used at three stages.
A standard weekend includes two Friday training sessions, then the riders train again on Saturday, and then qualify. Well, the cherry on the cake is the Sunday race.
As in England and Italy, in Brazil the sessions look a little different: one training session on Friday, then qualification immediately. On Saturday there is one more training session, and then a short sprint race, in which the pilots start in accordance with the qualification results. The first three are given points for the sprint: 3, 2 and 1 point, respectively. Well, on Sunday, the main race according to the results of the Saturday sprint with standard prize points (from 25 to 1 top ten).
Based on the results of two stages with this format, the idea was generally recognized as quite successful. Firstly, Fridays are not so boring now, because the pilots have to give their best on this day. Secondly, the risk of error on Friday and Saturday is clearly higher than in the standard format. With an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, Sunday may not have a chance to fight. Let’s see how it will be this time.
A new round of struggle for the title
Between Max Verstappen (“Red Bull”) and Lewis Hamilton (“Mercedes”) at the start of the stage 19 points difference. In this confrontation, various variations of the outcomes are still possible, but such a gap four stages before the end seems decent. In Brazil, the forces of the cars will be approximately equal. Qualifications will be a very important point. Whoever wins it will take the initiative into their own hands.
Winning at Interlagos is vital to both. Max, if successful, will create such a gap that in the remaining three races it will be enough to come to the finish line second – given the shape of the pilot and his car, this is not the most difficult task.
Lewis’s first place in the main race will bring him back into an active fight for the title. And there are three stages ahead on super-high-speed tracks, which, according to preliminary forecasts, will be much more suitable for cars of “silver arrows” than “bulls”. So both have a lot to worry about this weekend.
Let’s not forget about an important factor in the fight for the title – the reliability of the technique. So far, Red Bull has had no refusals. Their car as a whole looks reliable, which cannot be said about the brainchild of “Mercedes”. The main stumbling block in 2021 is engine reliability.
Before Brazil, the bulls boss Helmut Marko shared rumors that Hamilton would still have an engine change. True or not, no one knew for sure, but on Friday the information was confirmed: Hamilton replaced the engine and received a five-place penalty on the grid. Now the task of winning in Brazil will become much more difficult, but in the next races the engine on the Lewis car will be newer and more reliable.
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