After a very exciting qualifying yesterday, which saw a slightly unusual grid and an exceptional performance by Nico Hulkenberg to take pole, the race between the 3 or 4 serious title contenders will be fascinating.
It may not be relevant, but I have noticed in the few races where Red Bull have had to follow another car, they keep their distance. More-so than Alonso or Hamilton might do.
This may be entirely strategic – i.e. stay out of the hot air, look after the engine and brakes, etc.
Or there might be another reason …. which is that Red Bull’s extra-clever aerodynamics work terribly in the turbulent air of another F1 car, meaning they can’t get as close as other cars could.
Hamilton and Alonso will be praying this is true, because if it is and Nico Hulkenberg can maintain his 1st position after the first lap, the Ferrari and McLaren may eat the Red Bulls on the straight before turn 1 every lap they have to follow someone.
The other serious problem Red Bull have is Vettel being one place in front of Webber. Will they really leave him in front if Alonso is nearby? I suspect that Webber’s statements about Red Bull being emotionally behind Vettel has been timed to put pressure on the team to think about this point and give the drivers orders pre-race.
The Brazilian GP is going to be absolutely fascinating … even more so if it rains!