It’s a statistical curiosity that continues to baffle. It seemed impossible when I was trawling through the history books to research our Brazilian Grand Prix preview for last week’s show that Lewis Hamilton had never won at Interlagos; perhaps it was his title win there in 2008 that confused me, or perhaps that he’d been there in so many race-winning cars and never delivered the goods. He never could win there in a McLaren (you remember, when McLaren were a race-winning team), and despite largely wiping the floor with Nico Rosberg after their controversial coming-together in Belgium last year, Brazil was the one race in the final seven of the 2014 that he didn’t win. Last Sunday merely extended that unlikely streak.
The Brazilian Grand Prix for Australians is always a strange experience – watching in the middle of the night as Sunday turns to Monday at a time that’s too late to stay up for on Sunday and too early to get up and stay up for on Monday (unless you’re working on it) means you’re watching after a catnap, or resisting the urge for one, in the dead of night. Contrast that to the (usually) sun-drenched stands, water cannons dispensing their contents over the boisterous and boiling fans in the packed Interlagos stands, the ramshackle nature of the place (one veteran scribe refers to the weekend as “the race around the garbage dump”), and it’s always good viewing, if only for the complete contrast to the environment you’re usually watching in back home. Sure, it’s not Abu Dhabi slick and pristine, and can be a bit on the half-arsed side when you consider the rivers that run across the track at various points when it hoses down, or advertising hoardings that fall on the track, but we need circuits like Brazil to give us some respite from the cookie-cutter blandness of so many of the Tilke-dromes and races in places where nobody cares, bothers to turn up or can’t afford to be there. Makes my top five Grands Prix of the year (note to self: write that circuit rankings piece pronto …).
A review of the penultimate race of the season features on Episode 127 of ‘The Inside Line’ this week – check it out.