FORMULA 1 heads to the carnival of Sao Paulo and Brazil this weekend for the penultimate Grand Prix of the season at Interlagos.
The Red Bulls dominated the weekend in Mexico but it ended on a sour note as Daniel Ricciardo had to retire for the eighth time this season, this time with hydraulics issues.
The Aussie only has two races left to finish his Red Bull career on a high but the Milton Keynes-based team have traditionally struggled at the circuit since the new engine regulations were brought in 2014.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos…
WELCOME to our live coverage of all the final Formula One practice and qualifying at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.
The Mercedes’ were the quickest on track after Saturday morning’s (AEDT) second practice sessions, with Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari making up the top three.
Max Verstappen was the fastest after first practice but Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo got the better of him in second practice in what is his penultimate race for the Milton Keynes team.
“You can’t really blame them, the car was obviously smoking,” Horner told Sky. “But they shot foam up the exhaust and as it solidifies in the turbo, it’s terminated it.
“He’ll take a five place penalty but hopefully on a track like this it’s not actually that big a penalty.”
Ricciardo was first out of the garages in Friday’s practice at Interlagos, waiting for several minutes at the end of the pits for the session to start.
Under F1 rules, grid penalties are applied according to the order in which the offences are committed, as registered by the car’s transponder leaving the pitlane. That means anyone else who picks up a penalty will have it applied after Ricciardo’s.
Ricciardo wants redemption
The 29-year-old, who is joining Renault for next season, started the previous race in Mexico on pole position before suffering his eighth retirement of the season, twice as many as team mate Max Verstappen.
A disappointed Ricciardo said afterwards that he did not see the point in doing the last two races but soon changed his mind.
“I was angry and upset. At the time I felt like I meant it but deep down I didn’t,” he told Sky.
“It was a good way to express how I felt.
“Fortunately, I tend to wake up Monday morning and it’s like a new day and I can forget pretty quickly the Sunday.”
Sunday’s race has no bearing on the constructors’ championship for Red Bull, who cannot overtake Ferrari for second place or lose out on third. The drivers’ title has already been won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for the fifth time.
Mercedes set the second-practice pace on Friday, with Valtteri Bottas just faster than team-mate Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari, just 0.073 seconds slower than Bottas, with the Red Bulls of Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fourth and fifth. Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg crashed out of the second session after he lost control of his car on the exit of the high-speed final corner and hit the wall.
The German sustained severe damage to the right-hand side of his Renault, and the red flags were issued as the marshals recovered his stricken machine. Meanwhile Pietro Fittipaldi, 22-year-old grandson of Brazil’s two times Formula One world champion Emerson, will be official test driver for Haas next year, the US-owned team said on Friday.
The Miami-born Brazilian will also take part in a Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi on November 27.