So it’s no surprise the early reports of wet conditions during the race have been eagerly watched from the moment the chequered flag fell in Austin, if not sooner.
Much interest has been focused on a band of low pressure which is expected to move northwards from Argentina, bringing rain with it. The crucial question is how quickly it will move and when it will arrive at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.
Early forecasts suggested it would affect both qualifying and the race. But as they draw closer updated forecasts indicate only the latter may be hit by rain. And of course that could change again within the next few days.
This could be a headache for the teams and above all the title-contenders. Their set-up decisions on Saturday may be influenced by the likelihood of rain on Sunday. Although fewer changes are made to cars for wet conditions as was once the case, there are still alterations which can make a difference.
As it stands, practice on Friday is likely to begin with dry, warm, sunny conditions and temperatures over 30C. That should give teams a useful opportunity to get through the extra sets of 2013-specification tyres Pirelli are bringing.
Cloud will build up on Saturday, cooling temperatures slightly. But the first rainfall isn’t likely to appear until after qualifying and it may even bring some hail with it.
Considerably lower temperatures of just over 20C will accompany Sunday’s forecast rain. As things stand the rain looks likely to affect the race, but the forecast could change. As usual we’ll keep a close eye on how it develops on F1 Fanatic Live and the F1 Fanatic Twitter account.
On the face of it the prospect of rain will be welcome news for Fernando Alonso, as he has thrived in wet conditions this year. But extremely heavy rain could prove very bad news – as noted yesterday if the race were stopped short of 75% distance he would be unable to win the championship.
For those who wish to keep a close eye on the developing forecast, this interactive satellite image via the link below gives a detailed view of the days ahead. You can see the blue band of rain passing over the region where the track is:
Location of Interlagos
See the location of every race on the 2012 F1 calendar here:
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Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images