F1 2021
Round 19

#BrazilianGP Race Setup

br Autódromo José Carlos Pace

If, like us, you can close your eyes and picture Pierre Gasly drag racing Lewis Hamilton down the back-straight in Sao Paulo, then you're probably as excited for this weekend as we are.

#BrazilianGP Race Setup

The 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix saw delight and heart-break for Honda powered cars as the final 12 laps produced another classic race for the history books. Max took to the top step, followed by an emotional Pierre in P2, as he picked up his first podium in F1. As we return in 2021, we'll be pushing for another fairytale ending at Interlagos, where we always feel the love and support from the home crowd.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
We have arrived in Brazil for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the last race of the year in the Americas, in good shape off the back of two consecutive wins for Max Verstappen in the United States and Mexico.

This is Ayrton Senna’s home town and therefore this weekend holds special memories for me of my time working with him at the races, especially here in Brazil and also for all of us at Honda, as we enjoyed so much success with Ayrton all those years ago. Interlagos is one of the classic tracks with a long history in Formula 1. At 4.3 kilometres, it is one of the shortest tracks, located in a hilly area so that it has many changes of gradient and features mainly low and medium speed corners. Unstable weather is often a feature of the weekend. 

At around 800 metres above sea level, altitude does have an effect on the car-PU package. It is not as extreme as in Mexico, but nevertheless we will be taking our data from the last race into consideration, as we prepare for this weekend. There are now just four races to go, so we hope to keep up the momentum of the last few races, concentrating on doing everything to the very best of our ability with both our teams.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
It felt really good to win in Mexico. As a Team it almost couldn’t have gone any better for us, it was great to have Checo up there with me and that’s what we want, we have to keep on pushing. I really didn’t expect qualifying to go how it did but I always knew the car would be good in the race. We had a pace advantage and I was able to manage it to the end of the race.

Heading to Brazil, it’s difficult to say how competitive we are going to be. In 2019 we won the race but it was a close battle all the way through and I expect something very similar again this year. Let’s see what the weather forecast is going to be because that can impact the performance quite a bit. It’s also a sprint race this weekend; I tend to do well in the sprint race but then get bad race results so let’s try and turn it around.

It would mean a lot to the Team to win, we of course work for both Championships so to get those points today was amazing. Checo has been on fire for the past few races. For now, we are taking it race by race and we just need to keep pushing.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
It felt great! To have everyone up there with me in Foro Sol for the podium, people who have been with me since day one, was incredible. It was an emotional moment for my whole family, they are a big part of what I do every weekend on the racetrack and I am very pleased that we got the result for them too. It was a pretty intense week, it was hard to keep the focus and not be distracted by the people and intensity of the moment. It was such an extreme race on Sunday and the whole weekend was similar. It went very well and I am very happy with the Team result, that Red Bull Racing Honda won in my country and that I got the podium.

It was a great result in my home country but ultimately, we have to move on straight away and shift the focus in a triple header. We go to Brazil next and as a Team we have to keep pushing hard because we are in such a strong position as the season starts to close. We are one point away from leading the Constructors Championship but ultimately none of that matters in this moment, what matters is the final standings, which is why we'll keep pushing until this season is done.

It is another opportunity and another chance to improve for the Team and me. This season has shown how quickly things can change so we need to make sure those changes are only positive for us this week. I have had three podiums in a row and feel like it's all down to getting to know the car better so I will take that momentum to Brazil and hope to build on it.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
My third fourth-place finish of the season and the team now equal fifth on points in the Constructors’ Championship. Mexico really was a strong weekend, with the whole team working very hard to achieve this result, and only the two Red Bulls and Lewis were in front of me. We were immediately on the pace from Friday and then best of the rest behind the four drivers from the top two teams in Qualifying. Also good for the team is the fact Yuki is growing in confidence and he was a great help, giving me a tow in Qualifying. Everyone is now very motivated about getting fifth in the Constructors’ and the result last Sunday is a real motivation to keep pushing hard in Brazil, another track that I think can suit us.
The last time we went to Brazil was in 2019 when I finished second. It was my very first F1 podium and a really big moment for me, especially given the way it happened with the sprint to the line with Lewis from the last corner. I am looking forward to reliving all those very nice memories and it’s going to be cool to go back there having been on the podium before. The track keeps you very busy, it’s anti-clockwise and even the straights are not really straight. You’re always having something to do in the cockpit, while the track itself is very technical and I really enjoy it. It’s not easy for the car and Power Unit there, so it will be a challenge.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
Even though I didn’t even finish the first lap of the Mexican GP, I feel my performance up until Sunday was one of my best of the season. For the third race in a row I made it to Q3, I had good pace all weekend long and generally felt confident in the car. My first visit to Mexico didn’t disappoint, it was such an amazing experience, the fans are so passionate, and it was so great to see.
Now we are in Sao Paulo, Brazil and it’s another first for me. Apart from the fact I’ve never driven the Brazil track, there will be the added factor of the Sprint Qualifying format, which means I only get one hour of free practice to learn this new track before going into Qualifying. But we have done this a couple of times now, I am getting more experienced and confident in my car, so I know what to expect and how best to deal with it.

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