Bottas To Rev It Up For Williams In Brazil
With the penultimate Grand Prix event of the season taking place in Brazil, who will come up trumps with Drivers’ Championship title still up for grabs?
The Season So Far
Lewis Hamilton may not agree, but the decision to award double points at the final Grand Prix means the Drivers’ Championship is still a contest with two races to go, despite the Englishman’s lead. He picked up his fifth consecutive win and his tenth of the season in Austin, with Nico Rosberg once again finishing second to trail his team-mate by 24 points. Daniel Ricciardo returned to the podium for the first time in three races, sealing Red Bull’s second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
This year the Brazilian Grand Prix will not be the season finale, but it will play a big part in the outcome of the Drivers’ Championship and is one of the most popular races on the calendar. The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Sao Paulo, is a tough, high-speed track, with a very long, fast straight and a number of high speed turns, and is also notable for its inclines and bumpy surface, which takes a toll on cars and drivers.
In The Pits
Daniel Ricciardo has performed wonders in the Red Bull this season, picking up a couple of wins and regularly earning more points than he is entitled to. He was at it again in Austin, snatching a podium place from under the noses of the Williams drivers. But that could be his final flourish of the season. With second place in the Constructors’ Championship secure, Red Bull are putting their development efforts into 2015 whilst the Williams car has been improving steadily. I can’t see Ricciardo pulling off another surprise in Brazil and he offers little value this weekend.
Under the normal points system, the Drivers’ Championship would be all but over with two races to go, but with double points on offer in Abu Dhabi, the battle is still on. Although Rosberg’s chances of a first Championship will depend on Hamilton making a mistake or suffering significant mechanical problems in one of the last two races, he is still fighting, out-qualifying Hamilton in Austin before having to settle for second in the race itself. He has plenty to race for and remains the value at 9/4.
The Williams team will have been disappointed with the way things ended up in Austin. Having secured third and fourth on the grid, they had to settle for fourth and fifth in the race itself as Ricciardo sneaked into third. But that outcome was more to do with strategy than car performance.
It’s become clear in recent weeks that the Williams car is the next fastest after the Mercedes and they should be able to reassert themselves in Brazil.
Felipe Massa finished ahead of his team-mate last time but Valtteri Bottas is the more reliable of the two. Back him each way at 16/1.