Brazil hasnt had a world champion since Ayrton Senna won his third world title for McLaren in 1991, but the countrys passion for Formula 1 continues unabated. The Brazilian Grand Prix remains one of the highlights of the F1 season and the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos one of its gems.The 2.6-mile track is one of the oldest circuits in F1, having hosted its first world championship grand prix in 1973. Its been altered and made safer since that first race, but it retains much of its original character. Its bumpy, undulating and narrow, and its one of five anti-clockwise circuits on the 2012 calendar.The track is located 875 metres above sea level, making it the highest venue on the F1 calendar. The altitude affects the performance of the cars by reducing the power from the engines by about 7 percent. That places an even greater emphasis on handling and aerodynamic-efficiency, both of which are strengths of the MP4-27.Neither Lewis nor Jenson has won the Brazilian Grand Prix, but both men clinched their world titles at Interlagos in 2008 and 09 respectively. After Lewiss emphatic victory in the United States last weekend, the team goes to the season finale hoping to end 2012 on a high.Race distance 71 laps (190.067 miles/305.909km)Start time 14:00 (local)/16:00 GMTCircuit length 2.677 miles/4.309km2011 winner Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) 71 laps in 1hr32m17.464s (198.876km/h)2011 pole Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m38.481s (215.695km/h)Lap record Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams FW26) 1m11.473s (217.038km/h)McLaren at the Brazilian Grand PrixWins 11 (1974, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1993,1998, 1999, 2001, 2005)Poles 10 (1974, 1976, 1977, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2000)Fastest Laps 8 (1973, 1977, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1998, 2005, 2010)Car 3: Jenson ButtonAge 32 (January 19 1980)GPs 227Wins 14Poles 8FLs 82012 points 163 (6th)Brazil record 2011 Q3 R3; 2010 Q11 R5; 2009 Q14 R5; 2008 Q17 R13; 2007 Q16 R-; 2006 Q14 R3; 2005 Q4 R7; 2004 Q5 R-; 2003 Q11 R-; 2002 Q7 R4; 2001 Q20 R10; 2000 Q9 R6Ive had some great experiences racing in BrazilI won the world championship here in 2009, of course, but I can also remember having strong races here, especially in 2006 when I finished on the podium.I think we showed in Austin that we have an incredibly quick car, particularly in race-trim, and Id love to have a clean weekend, a trouble-free qualifying and then have a good run at scoring some strong points on Sunday. Traditionally, its not been a circuit where weve been at our strongest, but I think this years car has often been strong at tracks where we wouldnt normally have been up there, so I think we have a chance to go for the win.Of course, Brazil will be the backdrop for the championship showdownand its a great track upon which to end the season on a high. Im not putting my money on anybody, but I hope we have a fantastic contest and may the best man win.Car 4: Lewis Hamilton
Age 27 (January 7 1985)GPs 109Wins 21Poles 25FLs 112012 points 190 (4th)
Brazil record 2011 Q4 R-; 2010 Q4 R4; 2009 Q17 R3; 2008 Q4 R5; 2007 Q2 R7
Brazil has been the scene of some epic races for me during my time at Vodafone McLaren Merecedes and, for many reasons, this weekend will be a very big race for me.I nearly won the title here in 2007, clinched it on the final turn in 08 and drove like crazy to finish on the podium in 09. But Ive never won: and thats what Ill be aiming to do this time around.As my final race behind the wheel of a McLaren, I vow to the whole team that Ill give it my all on every single lap. My win in Austin last week was one of the races of my life, and Id love to take victory in Brazil this weekend to give the team the perfect farewell present.Finally, a word on the championship: its a very finely poised battle, and neither Sebastian nor Fernando can afford to relax for a moment. They are both fantastic drivers, and both have driven superbly all season. Now, well see who takes the final honoursI hope its an epic contest.Martin WhitmarshTeam principal, Vodafone McLaren MercedesThis weekends Brazilian Grand Prix will bring the curtain down on another fascinating and exciting world championship. Additionally, itll be Lewiss final race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedesthe end of a long, and successful, chapter in the teams history.I think our win in Austin last weekend has buoyed the team after a couple of disappointing races, and has shown that, in terms of raw speed, the MP4-27 wants for nothing. Thats an encouraging message to be sending home to our engineers and designers for the winter, and also a positive for our drivers, who know that theyll likely be equipped with race-winning machinery for the Interlagos weekend.The Formula 1 world championship couldnt ask for a more epic backdrop to the title decider than the sweeps and valleys of Interlagos. Theres little to choose between the performances of Sebastian and Fernando this season, and all I hope for is a fair and true contest on Sunday.McLaren has won more races in Brazil than any other Formula 1 constructor. Heres how the team has defined 11 days in the history of the race.January 27 1974, InterlagosEmerson Fittipaldi starts from pole position, but he drops to third when Carlos Reutemann and Ronnie Peterson jump ahead at the start. Emmo grabs P2 on lap four when Reutemann makes a mistake and he takes the lead by out-foxing Peterson when theyre lapping Arturo Merzario. Emmo cruises to victory, winning his second start for McLaren by 13s.March 25 1984, JacarepaguaAlain Prost wins on his debut for McLaren, but it isnt an easy victory. He qualifies fourth and is slow away from the grid. He battles through the order to lie second to team-mate Niki Lauda on lap 24 and when Lauda retires with an electrical problem he takes the lead. Derek Warwick passes him briefly during the pitstops, but Alain re-takes the lead when Warwick crashes out. Job done.
April 07 1985, JacarepaguaA tenacious drive by Alain sees him win the season-opener from sixth on the grid. His chances are helped when Nigel Mansell crashes at Turn 1, but Prost is mighty all afternoon and fully deserves the win. He takes the lead on lap 19 and is never headed. He backs off towards the end of the race to win by 3s from Michele Alboreto.April 12 1987, JacarepaguaAfter qualifying fifth, Alain takes the lead when Ayrton Senna pits with handling issues. The Frenchmans two-stop tyre strategy wins him the race because his main rivals are forced to make three stops in the blistering heat. New team-mate Stefan Johansson finishes third, giving McLaren a near perfect start to the 1987 season.April 03 1988, JacarepaguaAyrton qualifies on pole for his McLaren debut, but he starts the race from the pitlane after his MP4/4 jams in first gear on the parade lap. That leaves Alain to romp to an easy victory, coming home 10s ahead of Gerhard Berger. Ayrton charges through the field, but hes disqualified for using the spare car.March 24 1991, InterlagosAyrtons first victory in Brazil. He starts from pole position, but he has it far from easy. Nigel Mansell sits on his gearbox until hes delayed by a puncture and Sennas gearbox plays up towards the end of the race. He completes the last seven laps stuck in sixth gear! Gerhard Berger completes a good day for McLaren, coming home third in the second MP4/6.March 28 1993, InterlagosMcLarens 100th victory and Ayrtons second win at home. He qualifies third and runs third early on, until he can hold back the Williams-Renault of Damon Hill no more. Ayrton is later given a 10s stop-go penalty for passing under yellow flags, but he then takes full advantage of a rain shower to lead soon after half distance. A classic giant-killing performance.March 29 1998, InterlagosAn utterly dominant display by McLaren-Mercedes drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. They qualify 1-2 and finish 1-2, David just 1s behind his team-mate in the second MP4-13. Michael Schumacher finishes third, exactly one minute adrift.April 11 1999, InterlagosAn all-McLaren-Mercedes front row ends in a dominant victory for Mika. Hes never headed and comes home 5s ahead of Michael Schumacher. Mechanical problems for David in the sister MP4-14 end McLarens chances of scoring a 1-2.April 01 2001, InterlagosA superb victory for David. He starts fifth on the grid, but battles his way to the front with typical tenacity. When rain starts to fall in the middle of the race he times his pitstop for intermediate tyres to perfection and passes Michael Schumacher for the lead with 23 laps remaining. He comes home 16s clear of the German.September 25 2005, InterlagosA fine McLaren-Mercedes 1-2 finish, Juan Pablo Montoya coming home 2.5s clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The battle between them is decided during the early laps, when Juan Pablo leads and Kimi gets stuck behind Fernando Alonso. By the time Kimi passes Fernando, Juan Pablo is seven seconds clear and he manages the gap for the remainder of the race.