Sebastian Vettel admits the psychological pressure of competing for the world championship won’t be the only strain he’s under this weekend in Brazil. The Red Bull driver leads Fernando Alonso by 13 points ahead of the showdown at Interlagos but Vettel is equally concerned by the anti-clockwise circuit and the pressure it puts on car and driver.
“The 4.3km circuit will this year stage the World Championship final. That will be exciting because at Interlagos you have a combination of passionate fans, driving anti-clockwise, bad bumps and extreme altitude. The thin air makes it tough for the engine, because São Paulo is located 1000m above sea level, so it costs us about 40hp. The long left turns put an extreme burden on our neck muscles, because of the centrifugal forces that are created from driving anti-clockwise. So I’m doing special workouts for São Paulo, to build up my neck muscles and get them used to it.”
Teammate Mark Webber has been victorious here in two of the last three years and will play a key role in whether Vettel is crowned a triple world champion.
“Brazil is a great way to finish the year. It’s one of my most favourite weekends because of the history with the drivers they’ve had; Senna, Piquet and Fittipaldi, these guys did a huge amount for the sport. Interlagos is a legendary circuit, it’s got a great atmosphere, there’s always been a bit of drama and also there is always a bit of weather floating around. It’s a Grand Prix that I have done well at in the past. It would be good to have a smooth weekend with no issues, a clean start and the car running smoothly for the whole weekend, then I’m sure we can finish the season very strongly.”