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Brazilian Grand Prix 2007
Interlagos, 19-21 October, 2007



LATEST BUILD-UP (all times BST)

By Saj Chowdhury

606: DEBATE

To get involved in all the pre-race chat, text us on 81111 (UK users only) or contribute to 606

1851: So one more practice session on Saturday (1400 BST) before qualifying at 1700 BST. Will Hamilton be handed a punishment for using two sets of wets? Will Alonso clinch pole? Will the Ferraris cause an upset? Will there be another live text commentary on Saturday? The answer to the final question is yes. So come back for more thrills and spills from the final Grand Prix of the season.

Times from Friday's second practice session:
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren one minute 12.767 seconds
2 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:12.889
3 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:13.075
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:13.549
5 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:13.549

Others:
9 David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull Racing 1:13.706
14 Jenson Button (Gbr) Honda 1:14.095

1833: "The man who has finished fastest after Friday's practice sessions has gone on to win on 11."
David Croft on BBC Radio Five Live

Lewis Hamilton (top) and Kimi Raikkonen

1828: That's your lot. Ready for the best times? Remember these times don't really give a clear indication of what the grid placings will be following qualifying on Saturday.

1827: Just wondered has any other driver apart from Hamilton been faced with so many difficulties throughout a season and come out on top? From where I'm sitting he's handled it all pretty well for someone so young. Any more twists in the season left?

1826: "Congratulations Jackie, you have just succeeded in making the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard! I'm still laughing."
Andrew via text

1823: Hamilton has gone uber-quick - 1:12.767. That is fast. Just a few minutes left.

1819: Well, Poland's Robert Kubica you had your time in the spotlight, but you'll have to make do with being second fastest for the moment. Fernando Alonso knocks a fair chunk off his time - 1:13.239.

We must remember - it is only practice.

1818: "The wet-tyre penalty, if there is one, will be issued later tonight or tomorrow morning (Brazil time)"
Holly Samos on BBC 5live Sports Extra

1815: Felipe Massa's Ferrari is quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen's. The Brazilian has just posted 1:14.015.

1811: "If there is any justice Hamilton will fall off the track and leave two real drivers fighting for the title"
Jackie a real f1 fan via text

1807: Lewis Hamilton is pushing it now - 1:13.683.

1801: More Polish joy young Kubica has gone fastest again 1:13.587. According to his official website he started driving a petrol-driven car at the age of four. Now that's starting early.

1754: Hamilton goes quickest again with 1:14.173. I wonder if he has been told about the possible penalty that may be awarded.

1748: Update on the times - Nick Heidfeld has posted 1:14.400 to go quickest in his BMW Sauber. Fernando Alonso is second fastest with 1:14.418. And we haven't mentioned Robert Kubica yet, but we will now. The Poland's fastest driver is third with 1:14.652.

1747: "The biggest tragedy would be if Raikkonen won, he has about as much personality as Nigel Mansell's moustache."
James A via text

1745: "I never liked Button anyway, I have always been a McClaren girl for the 12 years I have been watching the sport."
Tisiphone on 606

1742: "The general consensus is that there will be some kind of penalty for Hamilton, Button and Sato."
Holly Samos on BBC 5live Sports Extra

Is there no end to this drama?

1739: "Too many brits get lost in patriotism. Lewis needs to earn his stripes like every1 else in life. Go Alonso! The legend that ended the Schuey boredom."
DC, Oxon via text

Hasn't Hamilton already done enough to earn his stripes?

1734: Guess who has gone fastest - no, not Nico Rosberg - but Lewis Hamilton. He's cruised to 1:14.949. Felipe Massa in the Ferrari is second quickest with a time of 1:15.270.

1729: Another Briton, David Coulthard is going great guns in the Red Bull Racing. He's second quickest - 1:16.669. His team-mate Webber is third fastest - 1:16.900. They've certainly been given wings.

1727: Because the the FIA have no set penalty for the wet-tyre offence then will one be made up? Fascinating stuff.

1725: Alonso is out in his McLaren and his time is... 1:16.516. Fastest. He said Interlagos is one of his favourite tracks. And the lad is going well.

1722: Back to the events on the track Aussie Mark Webber has obviously got over the shock of Australia's relatively early World Cup exit by going fastest in his Red Bull Racing car - 1:16.900.

1718: According to the news wires we have at BBC TV Centre, the stewards of the meeting are to discuss the situation regarding wet-tyre situation (see below).

McLaren have conceded to making a mistake and are now waiting for the stewards' judgment.

The FIA have no set punishment for the offence, so it remains to be seen what decision will be taken.

Newsflash: Lewis Hamilton, Takuma Sato and Jenson Button have used two sets of wets which is apparently in breach of regulations.
News from 5live Sports Extra

Oh dear. Surely the teams would have checked that. I'll try to get more details.

1708: Some early British cheer. Anthony Davidson goes quickest - 1:19.391 - and Jenson Button is third fastest - 1:19.708.

1707: "I'm intrigued by the criticism Lewis gets from some British fans - i think its a reaction of the F1 diehards who are stuck in the sport during the Schumy days and now dont like the sport being hugely popular again - Get over yourselves, get behind Lewis!"
RangersForever via text

1701: Nick Heidfeld is the first to go out in his BMW Sauber. He records a time of 1:22.761. But Kazuki Nakajima in the Williams posts a faster time - 1:21.364.

1700: "At the moment the track is 29C, the air temperature is 19C and it's dry."
Holly Samos on BBC 5live Sports Extra

1649: Well just 11 minutes before the next session. The Ferraris looked pretty useful and will be pretty effective on the straight at Interlagos. Raikkonen and Massa were flying. And Massa will be putting in that little bit extra on his home circuit. We've only seen Hamilton in the McLaren. He came fifth so it will be interesting to see what sort of time Alonso posts. It's only the practice session, but perhaps the competition starts today.

1640: "Kimi is definitely up there with Keke Rosberg (and far better than Mika Hakkinen). I'm hoping the ice man can do it on Sunday. "
From Piia - the big Finnish Formula fun fan via text

Cheers Piia for the message.

1639: "Go Go Alonso!"
The Spanish Cafe Crew in Oxford via text

1625: Just a reminder that the second free practice session begins at 1700 BST. That's British Summer Time - although judging by the weather in London today, it's not exactly summer.

1623: Out of interest are there any Spaniards who will be supporting Hamilton? And I would love to hear from some Finns. You guys have produced some motor racing greats - where does Kimi rank?

1621: "Come on Fernando you deserve the title for the way you have been treated. "
Darren via text

1618: "Hi Saj. I've had a bet on since before the season started for Hamilton to win the drivers' championship at 14/1! I can't wait for Sunday!"
Justin S via text

I do hope he comes in for you.

1607: "Extremely exciting final race. Lewis deserves the win for his extraordinary first season, despite the controversy and team challenges."
Francois in France via text

Lewis Hamilton during first practice at the Brazilian GP

1603: "Come on Lewis. Zimbabwe F1 fans are behind u mate!!"
Somebody with a close connection to Zimbabwe via text

1542: "The tension of this whole weekend will be unbearable, don't think I have ever been this nervous since Damon Hill was on the verge of winnging the title back in 1996."
Carl1982 on 606

1540: "Hi Saj i'm at work counting down till 5pm and the weekend! Hoping against all odds Kimi will emerge as champion on sunday. Forza Ferrari! "
Rich via text

1522: Off to grab an in-between practice sessions bite to eat. Be back in a bit. Next practice session is at 1700 BST.

1513: "Hi Saj - Colman snr here. The word is Lewis is cool and raring to go. Go England, go Lewis. C U at the wedding."
My mate's dad via text

1510: "My six year old son and I are HUGE Kimi Raikkonen fans. I know he's a long shot to win the championship but we're going to be going crazy for him in qualifying and the race."
Trent in Dallas on 606

1455: "This Saj bloke, is he a result of the BBC job cuts? Apart from bidding to be Hamilton's biographer and PR man, what does else does he know about F1? Answers on a postage stamp please."
SuperKanga on 606.

Now that Formula One thing, is it cars or bikes they race? And don't forget you can access Lewis Hamilton archive footage on our website. I'm not working for the lad, honest.

Times after Friday's first practice session:
1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari one minute 19.580 seconds
2 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:20.062
3 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault 1:20.829
4 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams 1:21.064
5 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McClaren 1:21.121

Others:
12 Jenson Button (Gbr) Honda 1:22.477
13 David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull Racing 1:22.667

Note: Alonso did not bother coming out for first practice.

Lewis Hamilton

1430: Hamilton has time to get in a 1:21.121 to finish fifth fastest after the first practice.

1428: Hamilton has just posted 1:22.751 to go 13th, but Raikkonen has gone fastest - 1:19.580.

1426: Raikkonen has just gone 1:20.802. Second fastest. Alonso couldn't be bothered to come out of the pits. Fair enough - it is a bit wet.

1422: Ferrari's Felipe Massa has gone round in 1:20.310. That's a chunk off Rosberg's time. Come on Alonso and Raikkonen. Where are you guys?

1420: Nico Rosberg in the Williams-Toyota posts the fastest time - 1:21.064.

1415: "The BBC's so called reporter Saj C is repeatedly inserting pro-Hamilton comments into his Brazilian GP build up report which is fine, as long as he reflects that there are also pro-Alonso, pro-Raikonnen and pro-Massa comments being made on this thread too."
Farhbot on 606

I'll try my best Farhbot to add some more chat about the other drivers.

1413: Hamilton posts the 16th fastest time - 1:26.849. There are 17 minutes left of the first session.

1411: "The leisure centre is the Gordon Craig theatre. I think you mean the leisure park on the other side and yes a good drunken state can be achieved there. "
Graham via text

1410: "Having been mates with Lewis at school, it's completely mind blowing to think back to when we used to talk about him winning the championship, and now he's on the verge. Come on Lew!"
Graeme, Stevenage via text

1409: Lewis Hamilton's set to go out for a lap.

1407: Ralf Schumacher's gone faster - 1:21.977.
Fact: I have a mate who looks like Ralf Schumacher.

1405: "I'm an English guy living in Sao Paulo, for us it feels cold here today, very unusual, but it is forecast to be sunny for the race on Sunday, but maybe with showers."
StarvinSP on 606. Well done mate - our very own John Kettley.

1359: I've never been to Stevenage, but always gone past it on the train back home to Newcastle. What's the Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre like? It looks like it provides hours of entertainment.

1358: "I hope the space in Stevenage's Asda store that is reserved for Lewis will be used if he wins!"
Graham, Stevenage via text

1354: Toyota's Ralf Schumacher has posted the fastest time so far - 1:22.995. Good to see Ralf still flying the flag for the Schumacher family.

1352: "Rumours suggest Heikki Kovalainen will move from Renault to McLaren. Other rumours suggest that Kovalainen could be joined by Alonso at Renault next season."
Holly Samos on BBC 5live Sports Extra

1349: "We had an open top bus tour in Stevenage in May when the football team won the first trophy at the new Wembley, here's hoping Lewis can make it a double."
John via text

1346: Hi Stevenage people. If you are texting in on 81111 can you add your name on the messgage. Obrigado which I think is "thank you" in Portuguese.

1346: "I had my picture taken with a Japanese John Lennon."
Lennon lookalike and Autosport magazine's Mark Hughes on BBC 5live Sports Extra

1342: "Hamilton to win in Interlagos!! Come on Hamilton! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! (from a Brazilian that loves F1 and is your fan)"
Brazucalady on 606

1340: "Hamilton is still stood looking at the monitor talking to the McLaren engineers, waiting for the track to dry"
BBC commentator David Croft on BBC 5live Sports Extra

1337: Honda's Rubens Barrichello has posted the fastest time 1:24.137. Faster than team-mate Jenson Button. Poor Jenson. He was Britain's F1 darling not so long ago.

1334: "Before the RWC, Ladbrokes had Hamilton at an almost unbackable 1/9 on to win the BBC sports personality of the year. If Wilkinson does another drop goal special, Hamilton might have a serious contender..."
TadPole the first on 606

1332: Conditions are getting worse in Sao Paulo. Major spray from the cars. As I look out of my window I can see blue skies over west London. I know where I'd rather be... er...

1328: Are there any plans for a ticker-tape style parade in Stevenage if Hamilton wins? If anybody from Stevenage is reading this then give me a shout either on text - 81111 - or use the 606 link above.

1325: Toyota's Jarno Trulli is the fastest in practice so far - only a handful of drivers have gone out on the Interlagos circuit so far.

1314: Hamilton will be hoping the weather makes its mind up. He coped magnificently with the wet in Japan, but he had his mind focused on the conditions. Wet? Yes. Dry? Yes. Mixed? It makes life difficult. What are the tactics? Which tyres? You see what I'm getting at.

1311: "There is a very slippy feeling. It's like driving on ice."
Anthony Davidson in the Super Aguri during his drive round the circuit. Has he tried driving on ice?

1309: Everybody has been out for an out-lap except for Giancarlo Fisichella and Takuma Sato - not sure why those two haven't been out.

1307: "Lewis seems to thrive on pressure. Under pressure he digs deep."
Autosport's Mark Hughes on BBC 5live Sports Extra

1305: The weather is wet, foggy and cloudy - that's not very Brazilian is it?

1250: Only 10 minutes to go before the start of the first practice session at Interlagos. The temperature in Sao Paulo is a rather comfortable 20C. I'm assuming it's a little bit warmer down on track and even more so inside the cockpits. At BBC TV Centre the temperature is about 15C.

1237: Some bookies are offering 10-3 that England win the Rugby World Cup and Hamilton wins the Formula One title? Any takers?

1229: "I can picture it now Lewis Hamilton driving a double decker through the streets of London while the rugby boys throw cup cakes at the South African embassy. Perfect"
John, Hull via text

1221: "Comparing F1 to that depressing drivel Eastenders? That's a bit much! I suppose F1, like in Eastenders everybody is always trying to do each other down?"
BoiledBunny on 606

1210: Friday's first practice session begins at 1300 BST

1208: How things stand: Hamilton 107, Alonso 103, Raikkonen 100.

Hamilton has the advantage because he has the lead but either of his rivals could win the title.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
Will Hamilton (centre) become the youngest driver to win the F1 title?

1200: What a sensational season! And it all ends on Sunday after what promises to be a dramatic climax at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Britain is crossing its fingers in the hope that Stevenage's finest, Lewis Hamilton, can achieve the extraordinary and become the first driver to win the Formula One title at the first time of asking.

Spain will be hoping that Fernando Alonso finishes the season by pipping his McLaren team-mate to the post.

And Finland will be praying that ice-cool Kimi Raikkonen can stun the McLaren pair by claiming an unlikely title for Ferrari.



SEE ALSO
Hamilton ready for title decider
19 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Interlagos, Brazil
29 Jun 07 |  Circuit Guide
Alonso unhappy with race monitor
18 Oct 07 |  Formula One
No more slip-ups, vows Hamilton
17 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton planning Senna tribute
11 Oct 07 |  Formula One
F1 rivals ready for Brazil battle
17 Oct 07 |  Formula One
The men who would be F1 king
17 Oct 07 |  Formula One
How Hamilton has changed
18 Oct 07 |  Formula One


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