The Autódromo José Carlos Pace, better known as Interlagos, welcomes Formula 1 for the penultimate race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix. Interlagos has given us some spectacular races in the past with plenty of overtaking opportunities, and with all the major championships already decided, it’s time for some real racing. This weekend will also see the final sprint race of the season to spice things up a bit, and with rain forecast on the 4.3-kilometer track, that’s the icing on the cake.
As a reminder, here’s how sprint races work on weekends. On Friday, the first free practice session kicks off the weekend, before the only qualifying session of the weekend takes place. This qualifying session sets the grid for the sprint race, which takes place the following day on Saturday afternoon, but not before the second and final free practice session. The order of finish in the sprint race determines the starting grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday. Regardless of whether you prefer sprint races or not, it looks like they’re here to stay, because next season we’ll have a total of five sprint races in a 24-race calendar. I’m not entirely against sprint races because they provide action on the track, provide more entertainment and mix up the grid a bit, but that’s the problem. I still believe that qualifying should determine the grid for the main Grand Prix. However, for bettors, this creates a few more opportunities and prop bets to improve and maximize our chances of winning.
Considering how close the frontrunners were in a single round in the second half of the season, it’s unclear who’ll have the advantage. Max has been in outstanding form and has shown that he even has what it takes to take pole position over a single lap ahead of the Ferrari, which seems to qualify better. Max took pole in Japan and Mexico, while Carlos Sainz took pole in Austin. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much to say during the race as he retired after the first corner. Charles seems to be out of form, as his motivation has plummeted after a season in which it looked like he’d become world champion. However, the Ferrari’s one-lap pace is too strong to deny them pole on Friday in qualifying, and I predict that one of the two Ferrari drivers will qualify first given the nature of the track. So my money is on Ferrari taking pole and winning the sprint race, while Red Bull wins the Grand Prix on Sunday. If it’s dry.
And will. I mentioned earlier that rain is forecast for the entire weekend, and past races in Sao Paulo have taught us that a light rain can turn this race on its head. Mercedes will be hoping for rain this weekend in the hope that they can repeat Lewis Hamilton’s great race from last year, when he started from the back of the grid with a series of penalties and went on to win the race with an absolutely superb performance. Given the rule changes, that seems unlikely this year, and even though they’ve had a bit of an upswing, this track doesn’t suit them in the dry. Some rain will help them, as their pace seems to come alive with some H2o in the mix. Try some live betting and be on the lookout for when the rain starts – it could prove beneficial.Other drivers in the raceWith Red Bull considered favorites to win, Perez is also in the race. The Mexican may not be able to keep up with teammate Verstappen, but Checo has had a lot of fun on high-downforce tracks this season with wins in Monaco and Singapore. To call Perez an outsider for a spot on the podium would be unfair. In the midfield, Alpine and McLaren are the best positioned and will give us an entertaining battle. Imola was the first sprint of the season and the only time we saw a non-Red Bull/Ferrari/Mercedes driver in the top three and on the podium. That man was none other than McLaren’s Lando Norris.
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