Title-deciding weekend to start warm but turn wet

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix weather

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010Sao Paulo’s capricious weather has given us some sizzling championship contests in the past.

Wet qualifying sessions during the 2009 and 2010 race weekends produced some surprises on the grid. And who could forget the astonishing twists of the rain-hit 2008 title-deciding race?

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:

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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52 comments on Title-deciding weekend to start warm but turn wet

  1. Kimi4WDC said on 23rd November 2012, 4:44

    Btw where are all the human rights activists? Sao Paulo make Bahrain look like kids play ground.

  2. mixwell (@mixwell) said on 23rd November 2012, 11:21

    so it will indeed be a “damp” squib eh?

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd November 2012, 13:52

    Sounds like it could be potentially chaotic! It’s not so much the rain that provides the excitement, more the threat of it and this is shaping up nicely.

  4. The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 23rd November 2012, 13:55

    So, does anybody think that Ferrari will do the unthinkable and ask Massa to “take-out” Vettel?

    If Massa is too far down the grid to get close to Vettel in a battle for position then it would only take a well-timed pit-stop due to some kind of problem with his car and for him to re-emerge slightly in front of Vettel.

    After the events in Austin I wouldn’t be at all surprised…

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 23rd November 2012, 14:32

      I think assuming that would be missing the point a bit.

      Before Austin, Ferrari favoured Alonso with decisions which only affected the Ferrari team itself, Alonso and Massa.

      It is true that in Austin they kind of crossed the Rubicon with a move which was detrimental to others. However, in terms of the main aim and result of the move, this was kind of a secondary, a side-effect, which importantly also did not affect Vettel directly. The main aim and result was improving Alonso’s position on the track. In that it was similar to other moves, such as the call at the Hockenheimring in 2010.

      In contrast, ordering Massa to take out Vettel would (1) have the main aim of putting someone else in a detrimental position, instead of improving Alonso’s position on track (it is likely, the only scenario in which the move should have only a marginal probability would be one in which Alonso is already ahead of Vettel), and (2) it would negatively affect Vettel directly. Neither characteristics are typical of the series of controversial Ferrari moves of late.

      • The Blade Runner (@thebladerunner) said on 23rd November 2012, 14:53

        Just trying to enliven debate!

        What Ferrari did last week was legal but has divided opinion. Masterstroke/Cynical manipulation of the rules; it’s all down to personal opinion. As a team they have also been the most consistent in looking to use events, no matter how minor, to their own advantage. If I’ve heard Fernando complain once about the behaviour of another driver this season then I’ve heard it 100 times, normally followed by a “yes, we will speak with Charlie” or similar response from the pits.

        I’m not saying it is a likely scenario but if, mid-way through the race, it looks to be the only way of winning… hmmm!

        Of course Vettel could just drive into Alonso and it’s all over!

  5. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 23rd November 2012, 14:33

    We are back to the sunny-stormy-rainy version on the offical F1 website.

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