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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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The Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

18 Oct 2007
The Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton might have made things difficult for himself after sliding into the gravel trap in the pit road in China, but assuming 100 percent reliability for the two McLaren and Ferrari drivers in Brazil this weekend, the odds still favour him becoming the first rookie world champion.

Currently he has 107 points to Fernando Alonso’s 103 and outsider Kimi Raikkonen’s 100. If he wins, it’s all over, cut and dried as he will have an untoppable 117 points. If Fernando Alonso wins, Hamilton must be second; they would have 113 and 115 points respectively.

If Alonso wins and Hamilton were third, they would each have 113 points, but Alonso would get the nod on the basis of five wins to Hamilton’s four.

The situation regarding Raikkonen is more straightforward. He must win, with Alonso no higher than third and Hamilton no higher than sixth. That would give Raikkonen and Hamilton 110 points each and Alonso 109, and Raikkonen would win six victories to four apiece for the McLaren drivers.

The easiest situation for Hamilton would be for Raikkonen to win from either Alonso or Felipe Massa, and to finish fourth himself. That would give Raikkonen 110 points; if Alonso were second he would have 111, third he would have 109; Hamilton would have 112.

All four drivers will be going for the win, however, since they are racers. Three of them need to think that way for their title aspirations, while another win at home would be balm for Massa after his challenge fell apart in Japan and China.

“I will approach the race in the same way, to win,” Hamilton says. “Some part of my mind will be focused on the end result - winning the world championship not the race - but I go to win. I understand the position I’m in and what I have to do. I aim on finishing on the podium and know I can’t take risks. Maybe I took a risk at the last race.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself. It has to be a hard hit knowing the world championship was there and I didn’t take it but it’s still there to win. In spite of having a DNF in China I’m still in the lead and I’ve still got a good chance of winning so I’m feeling pretty cool as I’m in the best position to do that. I’m mentally stronger after the weekend in China. Some drivers would be on the back foot, but I’ve taken the negatives and made them into positives.”

Slightly overshadowed by all championship fight, Williams and Red Bull will be going at it head-to-head for fourth place in the constructors’ championship, with Kazuki Nakajima making his Formula One race debut for Williams as the replacement for retired Alex Wurz. The 22 year-old GP2 racer is sponsored by engine supplier Toyota, and how well he goes in the race could influence his chances of graduating fulltime to Formula One racing in 2008.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-18-2007, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Brazilian GP - McLaren drivers all smiles

Brazilian GP - McLaren drivers all smiles
Eurosport - Thu, 18 Oct 23:51:00 2007
McLaren team mates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso replaced feuding with friendship in a disconcerting display of camaraderie before their Formula One title battle in Brazil.

More StoriesThe season so far
The breakdown in relations between 22-year-old rookie Hamilton, leading Alonso in the championship by four points, and the Spanish double world champion has dominated the headlines this season.

They were not on speaking terms immediately after the Hungarian Grand Prix in August, where Alonso was stripped of pole position for impeding Hamilton in qualifying for a race that the Briton then won.

Alonso has angrily accused McLaren of favouring Hamilton, who has been backed by the team for more than a decade, after himself being denied any special treatment.

Hamilton questioned Alonso's loyalty to McLaren after a spying controversy cost them the constructors' title and said in Japan last month that he did not think he and Alonso could remain as team mates next year.

Looking relaxed and smiling as they appeared side by side at a news conference at the Interlagos circuit ahead of Sunday's race, it was as if that bad blood of the previous months was only imaginary.

"I think it's as good as ever," Hamilton said of the relationship. "I think we have got on quite well all year, despite what the media have said. We have just got on quite well and got on with our job."

Alonso, who joined from Renault at the end of last season but whose future at McLaren now looks uncertain despite his having a contract for next year, agreed.

"People have said many, many things about us, but they were not true. We never have problems with each other," he said. "Obviously we are fighting on the track but outside the track we had a very good relationship from day one, so it's still the same."

The Spaniard also expressed confidence in his team after angrily telling Spanish reporters at the last Chinese Grand Prix that he could have little trust in what team boss Ron Dennis might do.

Alonso had dominated the early stages of qualifying in Shanghai but suddenly lost time in the final showdown, ending up fourth while Hamilton seized pole position.

The governing FIA have responded to concern in Spain that Alonso might not get equal treatment to Hamilton by appointing a special scrutineer in Brazil to keep an eye on what goes on in the McLaren garage.

Far from supporting the move, Alonso felt it was unnecessary.

"I don't agree probably with that decision, but it's not up to us," he said. "We don't need anything like that in the garage. "I trust the team, despite what happened in China."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, three points behind Alonso, is the other driver in the three-way title battle.

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