Brazilian Grand Prix Predictions: Verstappen set for sprint and race victory
8 November 2022
Only two races remain in Formula One’s record-breaking 2022 season - the first of those takes the championship to the fabled Interlagos circuit for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Formula One has a lengthy history in Brazil. The South American country has spawned three World Champions that includes iconic figure Ayrton Senna, murals of whom still adorn his native São Paulo.
The undulating Interlagos circuit was first visited by Formula One in 1973, and its current iteration has been in use since 1990. The venue takes its name from the district of São Paulo nestled between the man-made reservoirs of Guarapiranga and Billings, translating literally as ‘between lakes’.
Interlagos has been a late-season race since 2004 and has led to some scintillating championship deciders, most notably Lewis Hamilton’s last-corner triumph in his maiden title-winning campaign in 2008, and wet weather has frequently influenced proceedings.
There is unlikely to be such drama in 2022 with both championships long since settled in favour of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, but there remains a grand prix up for grabs and the sprint race also returns.
Sprinting to success?
F1 Sprint was introduced in 2021, with qualifying shifted to Friday and a one-third distance race on Saturday that determines the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.
Last season’s Interlagos Sprint delivered a thrilling spectacle. A penalised Hamilton recovered from last to finish fifth in the Sprint, before charging from a sanctioned 10th on the grid to the overall win in the grand prix. That success included a sensational battle with title opponent Verstappen.
A repeat is highly improbable, but the Sprint race still offers enhanced opportunity for those to make amends for a poor qualifying result, particularly at Interlagos, where overtaking spots are plentiful.
Red Bull chase records
Red Bull has had its most successful season in Formula One history with a Driver and Constructors Championship double, and the most individual wins (16). But Red Bull is still chasing records.
They have chalked up nine victories in a row - Red Bull has not been defeated since the Austrian Grand Prix back in July - and has never before reeled off 10 successive wins. That achievement has come despite starting from pole position only three times across the nine-event spell, highlighting the strong race performance of its RB18.
With two rounds remaining and the additional points offered by Sprint, Red Bull can still surpass the record of points amassed in a season. They are now only 69 behind Mercedes’ 2016 tally of 765.
Mercedes still pursues a victory in its chastening 2022 season and upgrades introduced in Austin aided its progress, facilitating back-to-back runner-up positions for Hamilton across the recent American leg.
If Verstappen and Red Bull falter then expect Hamilton, who was granted honorary Brazilian citizenship this year, to pounce at a venue he adores.
Brazilian Grand Prix Predictions
Max Verstappen to win Sprint @ 1.67
Max Verstappen to win the Brazilian Grand Prix @ 1.62
Carlos Sainz top three finish @ 4.1
8 November 2022