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FOR DANIEL RICCIARDO and teammate Nico Hulkenberg, this season has been a serious struggle. Dan is well aware he’s qualified in the top six just three times for Renault this year – and only once since June. And while the Aussie is a specialist at weaving his way through the pack, the odds of emerging unscathed are not favourable.
He knows that a mere tenth of a second can put him three or four spots back. It’s that tight at the top.
“When you get that tenth, it puts you three or four spots forward. And it feels like a real battle. I think most of the time the person who’s best of the rest feels like they actually won something over the weekend.”
“It’s been good, it’s been fun. The only thing that I wouldn’t say sucks a little bit, but isn’t as fun, is that you’re more likely to get caught up in first lap incidents, being right in the middle. That’s the only thing which is a little bit, I won’t say out of your control, but you’re put in that position a bit more often than I was in the last few years.”Daniel Ricciardo
The upside is that being back in the pack has allowed Dan to polish his lap one race-craft. And he’s already up with the best in that department. So, with only Abu Dhabi to follow Brazil in 2019, roll on 2020!
Interlagos has 15 corners within the second- shortest lap (4.309kms) of the year. So, few long corners, with the front-right tyre working the hardest on this anti-clockwise track.
Lewis Hamilton won last year with a one-stopper, going from supersoft to medium.
According to Pirelli, the surface should pose few problems, despite cool temperatures this weekend with the chance of rain.
“Interlagos is nearly always an exciting grand prix, where there’s plenty going on: the compact track means that there’s generally quite a lot of overtaking, with drivers also having to go frequently off the racing line.
“It’s corner after corner, which keeps the tyres busy, and it’s an old school track with not much run off, so mistakes are generally punished.”MARIO ISOLA – Head of F1 and Car Racing
Add the probability of safety cars and Interlagos promises an unpredictable weekend. And Pirelli’s choice of the hardest tyres means the teams will be able to push hard even if they’re on – as is predicted – a one-stop strategy!
EDITED by AC