Driver biography: Carlos Sainz

With two driver titles in his belt, during his junior years, Carlos Sainz is no stranger to Renault. After making his mark in Formula 3 and other championships, he is all geared up to finish the remainder of the 2017 Formula 1 season with Renault, while he prepares for his first full year with the team in 2018.

After a complicated Sunday in Mexico the Spaniard is ready to battle in Brazil in the season’s penultimate race.

What do you think of Brazil?

The track is obviously nice and you can still feel the vibe from Ayrton Senna all around. He’s still very much in people’s hearts, which makes it very special. In actual fact, it’s not a track layout I particularly enjoy, but it’s one of those historical places in Formula 1 where you race. There are a lot of stories in Brazil and lots of championships have been won there. The Brazilian culture is pretty eclectic, and, in terms of food, it’s probably my favourite destination on the calendar.

What are your personal Interlagos memories?

I had a good race there last year and it was one of my most complete Grands Prix. I was fifteenth in qualifying – two seconds off the top guys - and suddenly I was racing against them in the rain! We were back alive on race day, we got the strategy right and it paid off. We did a decent job and it was a very enjoyable Sunday capped off with eight points.

How’s Interlagos to drive?

The track is old school and challenging to get right, especially the twisty in-field which features some changes in elevation. The weather usually throws up some surprises; it can be nice and very warm and then it will switch to thunderstorms. The secret is adapting quickly to the weather and finding a well-balanced car which is suited to both wet and dry conditions.

What are your post-Grand Prix feelings from Mexico?

Mexico was difficult, I had a high-speed spin early on in the race which hampered my running. After the last few races, I think we have a car that can be in the top ten. We need to keep both cars on track and aim for points again in Brazil. We need to fightback.

Driver biography: Nico Hülkenberg

With an impressive racing career, Nico made his debut as a Renault Sport Formula One Team driver in the 2017 Australian Grand Prix. Born in Emmerich am Rhein, Germany in 1987, he has secured championship titles in Formula BMW, A1GP and the GP2 Series, and made his Formula1 debut in 2010. He also achieved a pole position in his rookie F1 season and won at Le Mans on his debut.

After an early escape from the Mexican Grand Prix Nico Hülkenberg returns to the scene of his incredible rookie season pole position…

What do you make of the Brazilian Grand Prix?

It’s very special for me and one of my favourite places and races on the calendar. São Paulo is a crazy city and there’s something I really like about it. The food, the people, it’s all really engaging and a highly unique experience.

How do you rate the track?

The track itself has so much history especially when you cast your mind to all the stories and championships won there. You can feel the history and the emotions that belong to racing and I really like that. It’s a reason why I usually perform quite well there. The circuit is short and can be quite tricky to get right. It’s anti-clockwise, very bumpy and extremely tough on the neck! It’s all about confidence, especially the in-field middle sector.

Why do you think you go well in Brazil?

I have special memories around Interlagos! My only Formula 1 pole position to date came in my rookie season, which was awesome. I put a perfect lap together at the right time in changing conditions and poled it by over a second; that’s a real standout moment in my entire racing career. In 2012, I led for a large part of the race and was unlucky not to get a podium. I have a decent record there and I will be pushing to make sure I continue that.

How do you reflect on Mexico?

Mexico was a good weekend, sadly without a happy ending! We qualified well, and I got a good start in the race to be running in fourth position. Sadly, that wasn’t to last and it was an early bath for me. We missed out on some points, which is always disappointing, but we’ll start over again.