Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo doesn’t have a lot of love for the Interlargos circuit.
“There isn’t a corner that makes you go Woooo-Hoooo!” he said ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, but it has certainly brought about happy memories for the Tilbrook team.
In 2010, Sebastian Vettel romped home ahead of team-mate Mark Webber to secure the team’s first constructor’s world title, while keeping both drivers in the hunt for the driver’s championship going into the final round in Abu Dhabi.
A year later, the positions were reversed with Webber leading home Vettel, who had already secured his second consecutive world title. For Webber, it was his first win of the season.
While neither of the drivers made it to the podium in 2012, dramatic circumstances saw Vettel, vying for his third title in a row, was spun around in the pack on the opening lap and was forced to race through the field. As the rain came, Vettel finished a fine fifth with damage to the rear of his car to take the title from under Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s nose.
Vettel’s dominance of the sport was never more evident than in 2013, when he won the Brazilian Grand Prix at a canter to take his ninth victory in a row. Webber came home second in his final race in F1.
This year hasn’t brought about nearly as much as success, with both Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat making just three podium appearances between them this season.
And heading into the Brazilian Grand Prix, Ricciardo isn’t enthused by the circuit, but loves the atmosphere among the partisan crowd.
“No, Brazil’s a wonderful Grand Prix with a great atmosphere in an exciting city but the track doesn’t really do it for me,” he said.
“It needs a few more corners and something really high speed. There’s a couple that look good on paper but because of the cambers, you never really have the grip to go barrelling in.
“The crowd really gets your heart-rate up before the sessions, so you want to be really on it but instead have to be very patient.”
Kvyat meanwhile enjoys racing around the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, describing it as one of the best on the calendar.
The Russian said: “It’s one of F1’s classic tracks and the atmosphere is always great.
“I think they have done some rebuilding there and I’m looking forward to seeing how the paddock has changed. It was the smallest of the year and kind of difficult for teams to work in and it will be good to see what has been done.
“But whatever they have done I don’t think it will change the atmosphere. It’s always amazing, with the fans so close to the track. They really have a big passion for Formula One and the feeling is always good on the grid there – even though it’s a bit crazy!
“It has some great memories for me, because I did my second free practice in F1 there in 2013 with Toro Rosso. It was wet but I really enjoyed it and I finished I think eighth.”
Kvyat goes into the Brazilian Grand Prix seventh in the overall standings, one place ahead of team-mate Ricciardo. Red Bull look set to finish fourth in the constructor’s championship, trailing Williams by 71 points, while sitting 60 points clear of Force India in fifth.