Brazilian GP: warming up

The weekend kicked off with the press conference in a small room – unfortunate as this was the best attended of all 18 Thursday press conferences. The seats were quickly filled with journalists, leaving standing room only, much to the annoyance of photographers herded in at the back.

The snappers’ main aim was to have a picture of the championship contenders shaking hands. Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa duly obliged before sitting down in the front row with, ranged along the back, David Coulthard (to mark his final Grand Prix) and local boys Rubens Barrichello and Nelson Piquet.

It was apparent straight away that there was a more relaxed atmosphere among the contenders than last year when Hamilton and Fernando Alonso could hardly bear to be in the same room as each other and Kimi Raikkonen sat in the middle giving the appearance of not being able to care less.

There is a genuine – I’m not sure if warmth is the right word – camaraderie between Lewis and Felipe. They get on well and passed the odd remark and exchanged grins from time to time when one of the other three were speaking.

Massa and Hamilton were all ears when Coulthard was asked what he thought of the pair sitting in front of the Scot. Diplomatic as ever, DC said:

‘Both of them are truly worthy of being world champion. I’ve said this in previous interviews and I’ll repeat it now. Lewis is obviously the favourite because he has more points and the easier job. But I have to say that Felipe is the most improved driver of the season. He’s become an attacking driver and I thought his start in Hungary and move to take the lead was a world class pass.’

Massa will need to do the same on Sunday if Hamilton takes pole. ‘In some ways, I have an easier job than Lewis,’ said Massa. ‘I’ve got to win. That’s it. I can go for it.’

‘I know I don’t need to win,’ said Hamilton, ‘but I’m just going to do the best job I can, and try and get pole and take it from there. Just like in China. We hit the ground running and never looked back.’

There’s no doubt that win in China has given Hamilton a boost, unlike last year when he arrived in Brazil, his confidence shaken by the error which put him into the gravel in Shanghai. ‘I’m feeling much more relaxed this time,’ said Hamilton. ‘I didn’t enjoy this race last year. But I’m really enjoying this one – so far.’

Is that going to continue? Not if Massa and Ferrari have any say. ‘I really love this place,’ said Massa of his home track. ‘To be here, trying to win the championship at home, is a fantastic feeling.’

Let battle commence.

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What I’m looking forward to most about this weekend is the crowd. There’s going to be gigantic support out for Massa. Enjoy it, because I doubt we’ll see the same at Abu Dhabi next year…

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Good point, Keith. The atmosphere on the start line here has no equal – anywhere. Last year, the crowds were in place, samba bands playing, five hours before the start. And there wasn’t even a Brazilian in the running for the championship. Abu Dhabi can’t begin to match this…

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obviously, only brazil has the special feeling because it’s the season closer. Last year, the attending fans had a three way battle and public rivalry to watch and this year it will be mental, with felipe there challenging. Imagine how deafening it would be if Felipe won and stole in at the death to win the title?

Dubai will have alot to live up to but there should be a fantastic atmosphere there aswell. Part of the reason for the atmosphere at Interlagos is the fact that they are very passionate and Dubai have never had a Senna or indeed a racing driver so obviously the atmosphere will be different.

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I don’t think that anywhere in the world could have the same atmosphere that here in Brazil!!! (I’m brazilian of course….)

Abu Dhabi doesn’t have the same passionate crowd, I don’t think that ANY of the countries involved on Grand Prix Racing today have the same passionate crowd!!! We were used to wake up on EVERY sunday to watch Ayrton Senna race, even those who weren’t so much into motorsport, and he carried the flag, and we got used to it!! Even outside the Grand Prix subject, even our concerts are one of the best in the world because of the crowd, I went to several outside Brazil, but in here, there’s another atmosphere!! I’m really sad that next year, Brazil wont be the “closing race”….

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Why are they ending it next year at Abou Diaby? They should have the last few races at thoroughly F1 contries, like Brazil, Belgium, and Italy. Then the last few races would be so tense. That would be truly awesome.

Also, instead of having souless venues like Valencia, the european grand prix should go somewhere new every year, to invigorate some F1 passion in those countries. For example, a polish grand prix could be worth trying to see if Robert Kubica has enough support to get a permanant race there.

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catersam: good point! I completely agree. I wasn’t so sure about the Valencia venue this year and they’ve got it again next year – it just doesn’t seem right.
Also, I don’t like them using the same track for the European Grand Prix for two years on the trot. It’s not as interesting when they do that. Different track every year please!
Brazil will be good though. I’m looking forward to it. THREE DAYS!! Can’t wait. It’s been a painful 2 weeks, but I suppose it’ll be worth it – it’s going to be a close one! :)

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Gp in Poland it’s not the best idea;)At first we have to invest in our roads,speedways, tracks for karting etc. Apart from it we have got Euro, some Volleyball Championships, so I really dont see any GP in near future.
Anyway, I hope we all have some fun on Sunday. I cant wait!

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Good point, Olga. It was just an example though: other countries could get one, like Finland. Kimi, heikki, and mika h show that they can produce f1 drivers as well as rally drivers like gronholm.

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“Also, instead of having souless venues like Valencia, the european grand prix should go somewhere new every year”
Isn’t that what the European GP is there for? It changes from location to location aswell…

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suzuka should be the closing race. That was great. Case closed. Point made. Back to the good old days.

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That makes two things to look forward to this weekend. The return of Top Gear and this race. Whatever the outcome, I’m pretty sure this race would simply be one of the most exciting races ever.

As for suggestions for a season ender: how about a night race (doesn’t have to be Singapore, even though we’re the only country doing that now)? At least you can have fireworks after the event. LOL.

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Really looking forward to this biggie!!
I think Hamilton is gonna make it this year. All the odds are on his side (but so were they last year, but how often do such things happen?!).
Massa needs to do what Kimi did last year to win the championship. Isn’t gonna be easy, but not impossible.

I’ld love to see Massa win in Brazil and the crowd going absolutely bonkers!!
But I doubt he’ll win and I don’t think i’ld mind it too much. Or maybe i’m just preparing myself for the Hamilton win!!

Oh and TG right after that, I’m gonna love this sunday!!! :D

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Proper valid posting this criticism to conduct that I drop in on your blog daily.

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