Brazilian Grand Prix – Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly are wary of the physical challenge that the anti-clockwise Interlagos circuit presents.
With the Formula 1 season heading into its last two rounds of the year, the penultimate round at Interlagos presents one of the more grueling races on the calendar. The Brazilian circuit is famed for being harsh on the neck muscles, due to it being a prominently anti-clockwise circuit.
The Toro Rosso drivers both highlighted the physical challenge of the circuit in their pre-race previews, with Pierre Gasly saying: “The track itself is actually quite nice, even if it’s short. It features a lot of technically demanding corners and it can be quite a crazy weekend, as we have seen many times in the past because the weather can make life very unpredictable.”
“The track runs anti clockwise and although we all do a lot of training these days, it is one of the toughest circuits in terms of putting a strain on your neck because none of the straights are actually straight! You are always feeling G-forces and during the race it gets quite physical, especially in long corners like 3, 4 and 5 where it never stops turning. Now we are going much faster than we have ever gone before in Formula 1 so the minimum G force is much higher than in the past, which makes it more challenging… but we are well prepared.”
“The facilities are a bit more basic than at some of the more modern circuits, but this is part of what gives Interlagos its character and it would feel strange if they changed it. Once you get on track, you feel a bit like you’re in an arena, which is a nice feeling. If we get a good result, my trainer will let me have a couple of caipirinhas on Sunday, so that’s an extra incentive to do well!“
Daniil Kvyat is heading to what he says is almost a home race for him, as he is dating Kelly Piquet – the pair recently welcomed a daughter, Penelope, into their family. The Russian driver says he’s a fan of Interlagos: “It’s a cool old-school track, but wide enough to allow for some overtaking. There are some incredible corners such as the banked Turn 1 which is much steeper than it looks on television.”
“It’s a good overtaking opportunity and usually, there is plenty of exciting action there.” continued the Toro Rosso driver. “The middle section is more twisty, but with a couple of high-speed corners as well. Then there’s the short straight where you can follow other cars and try and pass, although in a modern Formula 1 car, no section of this track is really a straight and you are always turning. Even with all the training we do, you feel the lateral forces on your neck here with the track running anti-clockwise. It’s not a problem but it is challenging.”
“The weather can also play its part and mix things up a bit and it can go either way, maybe providing an opportunity or just being an extra risk to deal with. At the last two rounds, I crossed the finish line in the top ten, but then lost the points on a technicality, so I am very keen to get a good result for myself and the team this weekend. It’s crazy that we now have just two more races this year. The season has been a long one, but it’s gone by very fast.“