F1: Brazilian Grand Prix 2019 Preview
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix (Photo credit: Charles Coates, Getty images)

Last time out in the United States, Lewis Hamilton achieved another world title meaning the Brit climbed to second place on the all-time most successful Formula 1 drivers charts and now only trails Michael Schumacher by one championship.

Although this year's championship is wrapped up, the battles throughout the field are intense as the season reaches its climax. The battle for third is well and truly on between both Ferrari drivers and Max Verstappen.

However, Charles Leclerc faces an early setback ahead of this weekend as Ferrari have confirmed the Monegasque will have a ten-place grid penalty after the team will be forced to put in a brand-new engine after suffering a failure at the last grand prix.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said, “Fitting a new power unit means taking a grid penalty in Sao Paulo, but we should be back to our normal performance level and show some fighting spirit to finish the season on a high note.”

The battle for best of the rest is one that has been arguably the more exciting battle this season as Alexander Albon looks to edge ahead of the man he replaced in the Red Bull, Pierre Gasly, and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz whose consistency this season has earned him praise from up and down the grid.

The track

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit is one of the quickest tracks on the calendar with a circuit length of 4.309km and a race distance of 305.909km over 71-laps.

Its first Grand Prix was in 1973 and it has become a memorable track, particularly in deciding Hamilton’s first ever title in dramatic fashion as the Brit sailed passed a limping Timo Glock on the final corner to beat Felipe Massa to a title at his home grand prix.

The lap record was by Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes in 2018 with a time of 1.10.540.

The early forecasts ahead of this weekend show FP1 and FP2 to face high chances of rain, but for qualifying and race-day it should be clear.

What happened last year?

At last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Verstappen had victory cruelly snatched from his grasp as he was punted out of the lead by backmarker Esteban Ocon.

The Red Bull driver had overtaken Hamilton and was set to run-away with the race win, however at Turn 2 the Dutchman collided with the Force India and send him spinning into the run-off area as he watched Hamilton glide through into the lead not believing his luck.

The Brit won his 72nd race which was enough to earn Mercedes their fifth world constructors’ title in a row, though as Verstappen crossed the line in second his anger continued to the weigh-in after the race.

Ocon received a ten-second time penalty for the collision, but having had the race win stolen from him Verstappen took matters into his own hands and angrily confronted the Frenchman after the race.

When can I watch it?

Friday

Free practice 1: 14:00 – 15:30

Free practice 2: 18:00 – 19:30

Saturday

Free practice 3: 15:00 – 16:00

Qualifying: 18:00 – 19:00

Sunday

Race: 17:10

All times GMT.

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