2019 Brazilian GP Preview
It is official: Lewis Hamilton is the 2019 Formula One world champion. The Mercedes driver clinched his sixth world title at the United States Grand Prix, finishing second behind title rival and teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton now has an unassailable 67-point lead at the top of the World Championship standings but there are still plenty of records on the line in the final two races of the campaign.
With 381 points acquired, Hamilton could break the record for most points racked up in a single season. The British star set the record in 2018 but could surpass his own tally just 12 months later.
If everything goes to plan, Hamilton will score a combined 28 points in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to break his own points record. The title race pressure is off but Hamilton won’t be taking his foot off the gas just yet.
Punters can back Hamilton at 6/4 to win the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend. That price is currently available with a range of bookmakers and the British driver is expected to give his all despite claiming the title in Austin, Texas.
Ahead of his hunt for a record seventh World Championship crown in 2020, Hamilton can build momentum over the final couple of races and two victories will move him one step closer to Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins.
Mercedes clinched their sixth World Championship double at the United States Grand Prix, with the Bottas-Hamilton combination securing the Constructors’ Championship. Without a doubt, Mercedes are still clear of Ferrari as the dominant force in Formula One.
Bottas could be primed to enjoy a strong finish to 2019 – his win at the Circuit of Americas sent a statement to Hamilton ahead of next year. This was Hamilton’s time to celebrate but Bottas will not roll over and let the British driver have everything his own way.
Love him or hate him, you have to respect his efforts and commitment to Mercedes. He has been a loyal figure for the team in recent years and Bottas has certainly contributed to their Constructors’ Championship triumphs since joining the team in 2017.
Ferrari have pushed Mercedes close at times this year but Bottas and Hamilton have stood tall in difficult periods. The Finnish driver deserves plenty of credit for understanding his role at Mercedes and it could be his time to shine in 2020 if he starts well.
After his exploits at the United States Grand Prix, it will come as no surprise to see Bottas feature prominently in the betting markets for Interlagos. William Hill customers can back Bottas at 7/2 to emerge victorious for the second race in a row.
While Hamilton is a worthy favourite, Mercedes may be tempted to show Bottas some love this weekend. After putting the team before himself at times this year, Bottas may be about to be rewarded with favourable tactics from Mercedes in Brazil.
Ferrari will fancy their chances of upsetting the two Mercedes drivers though and it would be foolish to back against Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. Leclerc has been outstanding in his debut season with the team, notching two Grand Prix victories in 2019.
The Ferrari youngster looks destined to enjoy a long and successful career in the sport and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Leclerc top the podium in Brazil. Watch this space, the Interlagos track should play to his and Ferrari’s biggest strengths.
Leclerc hasn’t quite toppled Vettel in the Ferrari hierarchy but he certainly ranks as his equal these days. With both men at opposite ends of their respective careers, it might not be long before Ferrari commit to Leclerc as their number one driver.
Meanwhile, Vettel has failed to inspire confidence in 2019. The four-time world champion has been hit and miss this year, recording just one Grand Prix win and nine podium finishes. His status as Ferrari’s main man may hinge on success in the coming weeks…
Vettel isn’t finished by any stretch of the imagination but his temperament has come under scrutiny. How will he cope with playing second fiddle to Leclerc if the youngster comes out firing in 2020? Only time will tell but Vettel’s time at the top is limited.
At the time of writing, punters can back Vettel at 6/1 to win the Brazilian Grand Prix. To be fair to the German, his teammate is way out at 14/1 so bookmakers believe that Vettel has a better chance of success than Leclerc this weekend.
Ahead of the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, Leclerc has a 19-point lead over Vettel and we could see a changing of the guard in the coming months. Ferrari will have a big decision to make if Leclerc beats Vettel in each of the final two races of the season.
As a novelty bet on the Brazilian Grand Prix, the fastest lap market is always worth a look. As per usual, Leclerc and Max Verstappen are both priced near the top of the betting. Leclerc is the 9/4 favourite with 888Sport but Verstappen isn’t far behind at 3/1 with the same firm.
The Brazilian Grand Prix has been a regular feature on the F1 calendar since 1972 and fans from all over the world will be tuning in to watch this weekend’s race. The 2019 event has been billed as Mercedes vs Ferrari and we could see a thrilling encounter.
Hamilton is arguably the greatest Formula One driver of all-time but he won’t have it all his own way this weekend. Bottas could be the main beneficiary if Mercedes allow both drivers to go hell for leather – the Finnish guy deserves a stroke of luck.
Leclerc and Vettel won’t be too far away though and we could be set for one of the most exciting races of the 2019 season. Keep an eye on Leclerc – a positive performance could be backed up with the fastest lap of the race
RACE WINNER: Valtteri Bottas (7/2 with William Hill)
FASTEST LAP: Charles Leclerc (9/4 with 888Sport)
Brazilian Grand Prix Winner Odds - 11/17/2019
About the Brazilian Grand Prix
The very first Brazilian Grand Prix was held back in 1972 and there has been an unbroken run of 47 races ever since. Like most events hosted outside of Europe, that first GP was not initially part of the World Championship but it has since been included and has developed to become one of the most glamourous events on the circuit.
After that successful initial test, the FIA embraced the Brazilian Grand Prix and a year later in 1973, it became an official part of the World Championship. Since then, it hasn’t been off the radar and with Brazil providing great F1 champions including Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet, it’s fitting that we come to this part of South America each year.
For most of its life, the Brazilian GP has been held at Interlagos which is located in the Socorro District of Sao Paulo. The exception to that run started in 1978 when the event was switched to Jacarepagua in Rio de Janeiro. The issues came about when the old Interlagos circuit fell into decline and the Brazilian public began to clamour for a change to Rio where the home crowd’s favourite Nelson Piquet hailed from.
Rio continued to hold the event until 1989 but in the following year, the race returned to a more compact Interlagos circuit where it has remained ever since.
We’re used to seeing today’s drivers dominate the list of multiple winners at any current Grand Prix but that isn’t the case here. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are taking a back seat for now as the overall leader at the top of the table is Alain Prost with six wins. Prost was the dominant force in the 1980s with five of those victories coming in in a six year period between 1982 and 1988.
Home favourites Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna could barely get a look in at that stage although Piquet did claim two Brazilian Grand Prix wins in 1983 and 1986. Behind Prost, the Argentine speedster Carlos Reutemann is in joint second place with four wins, including victory in the 1972 inaugural season when the race wasn’t an official World Championship event.
Our first driver of the modern era sits alongside Carlos Reutemann with four wins. Michael Schumacher’s four victories came in 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2002. Next on the list is Sebastian Vettel who recorded three wins in 2010, 2013 and 2017 and then we have a host of drivers with two Chequered Flags. Included in that particular list is Lewis Hamilton who won in 2018 and will be looking to draw level with great rival Vettel when the 2019 edition comes around.
Those are interesting figures as, with the notable exception of Prost in the 1980s, no single driver is really dominating the Brazilian Grand Prix. That makes for excitement and an open betting market which could provide some value whenever the race comes around.
The list of overall winners may be headed by drivers from yesteryear but the current crop certainly dominate race records. Speeds increase with every season and it will be no shock to see more of those records tumbling in 2019 and beyond.
In terms of the fastest lap, the milestone was set in 2018 by Valtteri Bottas. His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton may have gone on to win the Grand Prix but Bottas went round in the quickest time of 1:10:540.
While Alain Prost holds the record for individual driver wins, the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Brazilian GP is McLaren with 12 victories. Close behind are Ferrari with 11 wins and the Italian firm will be looking to even things up in 2019.
Historically this has been a successful race for home drivers. We’ve already mentioned wins for Nelson Piquet, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna. We can also add in two wins for Felipe Massa while Carlos Pace claimed a solitary victory back in 1975.
Brazilians have also claimed more poles than drivers from other nationalities.
Following Pace’s death in a light aircraft crash in 1977, the track at Interlagos was renamed Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in his honour.
The 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix, won by Michael Schumacher, was the last time that a Formula One race was won by over a lap.
The 2001 GP in Brazil was the first time that two brothers - Michael and Ralf Schumacher - occupied the first two positions on the grid.
The track at Interlagos has endured a chequered past: First unveiled in the 1940s, it was the logical choice to host the first ever Brazilian Grand Prix in 1972 but became an unpopular location due to its original design. A long, 4.9 mile track gave drivers a bumpy surface and there was inadequate safety which all culminated in that switch to Rio de Janeiro.
Racing returned to Interlagos in 1990 with a much improved design. The distance was shortened considerably and it now comes in at 2.67 miles. Safety has naturally been upgraded and this includes a lengthened pit lane. With 15 turns included, it is far more popular with the drivers and the new Interlagos circuit is far more in tune with modern day F1 racing where safety issues are paramount.
It’s been a permanent fixture on the calendar since way back in 1972 and the Brazilian Grand Prix won’t be disappearing from the schedules anytime soon. Contracts continue to be extended and in 2013, it was announced that the existing deal had been taken all the way up to 2022.
The race can shift around the calendar a little and in 2019, it will provide us with the third Grand Prix of the new campaign. The glamorous setting of Sao Paulo provides a perfect backdrop in a race that everyone wants to win and so we’re certain that we’ll see even more racing here that will reach far beyond that current cut off point of 2022.