Why were there so many transmission problems in Sao Paulo?
G four drivers complained about gear problems in Sao Paulo. Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Bruno Senna and Paul di Resta were let down by their control box. At Hamilton, the defect ultimately led to failure. But why did the technology fail at the season finale in Interlagos of all places?
There is no clear answer for the unusual accumulation. The individual cases are too different. At Vettel, a leak caused the oil pressure to be too low. Above all, he had to shift the lower gears earlier. At McLaren, the increased temperatures caused a loss of seventh gear. Senna's fourth level was affected.
'Maybe it was the caipirinhas,' grinned Mark Webber with a shrug. 'Maybe it was also material fatigue. Maybe a coincidence. The second corner is pretty much on the material - the rear end is thrown back and forth. But normally the transmissions are very reliable today. Formula 1 is like a computer game: the cars just don't go broken.
Gearbox victim Vettel does not believe that the circuit in Interlagos is particularly demanding on the gearshift. 'My gearbox was brand new, in use in the first race. Maybe we should have put in the old one again. The course is tough, but I think there are much worse ones. For example, on street circuits you have to constantly use the lower gears. There is a tight gradation and there is a lot of gear change. '
Tactical question: two or three stops?
The teams themselves did not agree on tactics. Of the 20 drivers at the finish , ten drivers pitted twice to change tires, ten opted for three rubber service. The question of which variant was faster is not easy to answer and has to be considered team by team. At Ferrari, the three-stop version was Definitely faster. Fernando Alonso was able to switch to the unpopular medium tire nine laps later than two-stopper Felipe Massa.
At Force India, they actually wanted to make two stops on both cars, but Adrian Sutil Quickly decided to switch to three stops. 'I noticed that two stops would be difficult. We then tried to stop earlier to get past Nico Rosberg. 'In the end, Sutil was 17 seconds apart from his team-mate Paul di Resta before the first stopit was six. However, the Scot struggled with transmission problems.
Lotus was the third team to split its strategy. Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli were seven seconds apart before the first tire change. On the finish line, the two were separated by 38 seconds. Here the three-stop was faster. However, there is one factor that must not be overlooked: In a rain shower, the drivers who were at the pits shortly before are at a disadvantage. In a two-stop race, the risk is lower.
Why was Felipe Massa just a two-stop strategy?
With Felipe Massa, the puzzles about tactics quickly became one Solution came. The Ferrari driver only pitted twice. 'We had no other choice,' explained team boss Stefano Domenicali. 'We were forced to do this because one of the tires in one of his soft sets had a hole. So there were only two sets left. So he had to drive very carefully during the race and be careful with the tires.' After crossing the finish line, Massa no longer spared the rubbers. He said goodbye to the Brazilian fans with smoking donuts.
Why did Alonso pass Button so easily?
Fernando Alonso got going in Sao Paulo like the fire brigade. At the start he grabbed Lewis Hamilton. On lap ten he also cracked Jenson Button's second McLaren. The maneuver on the outside of turn six initially looked like great motorsport art. But Jenson Button later admitted that he had to make it easy for the Ferrari.
'I chose the wrong line. On the inside there were tire parts and a piece of Michael Schumacher's front wing. When I saw it, of course I didn't want to drive over it. I couldn't turn left either , because Fernando was already next to me. So I had to get out of the gas and get into position behind the Ferrari. '
In our photo gallery we have the best pictures of the race again.