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Thursday GP Brazil check: Hamilton under pressure despite title

F1 Thursday check GP Brazil 2018
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D Thursday is the PR day before a Grand Prix . auto motor und sport will find stories and rumors for you in the paddock. We ask the engineers what's new about the car and the drivers what they think of the race. Here is our foray through the ten garages.


Mercedes has cleared up Mexico's tire problems. It was so-called 'cold grain'. The tires simply never got up to temperature because the maximum downforce at the height of Mexico only corresponds to Monza contact pressure. That was enough for a fast lap, but not for heating up the tires at a slower racing pace. The two VSC phases have exacerbated the problem. It was two defeats too many for Lewis Hamilton. He speaks of 'shocking experiences' of having no chance at the last two Grand Prix. “Despite my World Cup title, I feel enough pressure. And under pressure I do my best. ”Hamilton still has another bill open with Interlagos. The five-time world champion has only won once on this route. 2016 in the rain. 'I would like to change that.


Ferrrari will try the sub-floor with the vertical fins a third time after Austin and Mexico. Also with a view to the next season. The course in Sao Paulo with its requirement for medium downforce fits perfectly into the profile of the Ferrari SF71H. The aerodynamic efficiency is tailor-made for routes like Interlagos. Sebastian Vettel also hopes that. “We should be reasonably competitive. Our main goal is to keep the constructors' championship open. We concentrate on ending up with both cars in front of the Mercedes. 'The World Cup defeat is still gnawing at the Heppenheimer:' The season is not over yet. There are still two races. Then we will analyze this season: “There will probably be a few moments in winter when you will painfully remember the points at which the title race was lost in the season. The bitter thing about it: There is no guarantee that Ferrari will succeed in such a good car again next year.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen does not believe that he will win his victory in Mexico Brazil can repeat: “The track has too few corners to make up for the loss on the long straight. We are counting on places 5 and 6. “Daniel Ricciardo fought his frustration with the youngestFailures in Los Angeles. “On Monday the failure of Mexico was forgotten again. Austin was worse. I hope the losing streak will end at the end of the year and will not spread to Renault. “The clutch damage in Mexico could cost him dearly. The turbocharger also suffered a bit. That smells like another engine penalty.

Force India

Sergio Perez now knows what the 7th place cost him in Mexico. A sealing ring in the brake caliper gave. “Our tactic to start from behind with the harder tires was the right one,” the Mexican looks back. Now Force India is about to push McLaren from 6th place. “It won't be easy if I'm 13 points behind. For that we need two perfect races. 'Perez is already focusing on 2019:' I expect great things for next year. Finally we don't have to worry anymore whether we will still exist at the end of the season. I expect a strong car from day one. In 2019 Force India can finally show what the team is made of. '


This weekend, the fate of Robert Kubica will be decided. The Pole has a good chance of taking the second cockpit because Claire Williams cannot find any sponsors to finance the transfer of Esteban Ocon. Lance Stroll doesn't want to talk about his future, even though everyone knows he'll end up at Force India. But he looks back critically on his second year in Formula 1: “It was a struggle for survival. Most of the time we were kicked out in Q1. I often had good starts, but was then almost always passed back in the race. We haven't developed the car much since the start of the season. Sauber did it, and they were still at our level at the beginning of the season. '


Renault is testing again for next year on Friday. Small new developments are tried out on the underbody around the rear wheels. In addition, the oil cooling has been improved. This should help to close the panel even more. Nico Hülkenberg fears that Renault will have a harder time in Brazil than in the last two races. “It gets more difficult here in terms of feeling. There are too many fast and fluid corners for us here. We need real hooks and corners, between 80 and 120 km /h, to get the most out of our package. '

Toro Rosso

Honda is back with the Spec 3 Engine. And this time without any motor penalties. “In Mexico we noticed how big the step really is. We drove the Spec 2 engine and really missed the latest development, 'says Brendon Hartley. Pierre Gasly is happy that he doesn't have to start from behind this time, even if he doesn't complain: “The sacrifices I had to make this year will pay off for me next year. It was important for Honda to learn as much as possible this year. “In Brazil, however, Toro Rosso has to score points with both cars ifyou want to have a say in the battle for 8th place. “If we want to push Sauber from 8th place, we need good starting positions. They have been able to drive into Q3 practically regularly since the summer. “Gasly is optimistic that Toro Rosso can take on the fight with the Sauber. “We have the Honda Spec 3 engine again. And both cars are equipped with the new aero package, which gives us an advantage, especially in slow corners. We should feel that in the second sector. '


HaasF1 had the same problem as Mercedes in Mexico. The tires were too cold. Operations manager Ayao Komatsu explains: “Our car does not have enough downforce for this type of track, also because we had to open the fairing too much for cooling. In addition, the tight curves are not our territory. That's why we didn't put the tires in your window. 'Team boss Guenther Steiner:' Interlagos is a track that will suit us better. '


Fernando Alonso sees the Brazilian GP its last realistic chance of scoring points. “We will suffer in qualifying because of the long straight and we will not make it into the top ten like last year. But if I can qualify in a reasonable position, then points are possible. The last two races have shown that we are always able to make up positions in the race. I lost 8th place in Austin and 7th place in Mexico. In Abu Dhabi it will be more difficult for us due to the track characteristics. 'Stoffel Vandoorne is already looking at his 2019 Formula E season without giving up hope of eventually ending up in Formula 1 again:' The driver market has this summer Played crazy and I was a victim of it. That can happen again, and maybe I'll be the beneficiary. '


Interlagos has always been a good place for Sauber. The Swiss racing team wants to take the opportunity to expand its 8th place in the constructors' championship. Marcus Ericsson sees no reason why he shouldn't score for the third time in a row. 'We now have a car with which we can fight for points everywhere.' The Swede is already working on his future. Last week he met the Schmidt-Peterson team for the first time, with whom he will compete in the 2019 IndyCar series. What Ericsson likes most is the fact that all cars in the US are the same. “In Formula 1, I've never sat in cars that you can win with. It's tough when you've won races in the junior categories. That's what I'm looking forward to the most. Finally competing for victories again. 'Charles Leclerc is looking forward to the duel with Toro Rosso for 8th place.' They will be a tougher opponent than in Mexico because they have the more powerful engine in the car again. But we have enough self-confidence that we can counter it. '


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