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F1 Raceweek: One down, one to go for Mercedes

By Opta
Team Mercedes

Sao Paulo, November 7: Mercedes will hope to replicate their celebrations from Mexico at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend as they look to wrap up a fifth constructors' title in a row.

The Silver Arrows lead Ferrari by 55 points heading into the penultimate race of the 2018 season and know a good weekend in Sao Paulo would be enough to seal top spot.

In order to stop another Mercedes party, Ferrari must claim at least 13 points more than their rivals at Interlagos.

Doing that will be far from easy given Mercedes' consistency this season, but team boss Toto Wolff is taking nothing for granted and has called for focus from his drivers.

"Our target for this season was to win both championships, not one title or the other, so our mindset is one of unfinished business as we head to Sao Paulo," he said.

"We have a big battle on our hands for the constructors' title and we have lost ground to Ferrari in each of the past race weekends - even though we had the base performance to do better.

"This is the moment to keep our feet on the ground, focus clearly on the objective and trust in our processes and people to deliver.

"In the cockpit, I know that both Lewis and Valtteri are determined to end their respective seasons on a high note; as a team, we are aiming to finish this year with our heads held high and with two performances that properly reflect the level of performance we have attained this year."

TALK OF THE PADDOCK

Three seats remain unfilled for the 2019 season and the scramble for a drive is gathering pace with Racing Point Force India, Williams and Toro Rosso the teams considering their options.

Esteban Gutierrez, Robert Kubica and Esteban Ocon have all been linked with Williams since the Mexican Grand Prix, while Lance Stroll is widely expected to join Sergio Perez at Racing Point Force India.

Daniil Kvyat's partner at Toro Rosso remains unclear, with F2 star Alexander Albon the latest to be linked with the vacancy.

One man who won't be in F1 next season is Marcus Ericsson after his switch to IndyCar, the Swede having lost his Sauber seat to Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Meanwhile, McLaren added to their group of drivers with the signing of Sergio Sette Camara as their test and development driver for 2019.

"We've been following his progress for some time and believe he is a promising talent with real potential," said McLaren's sporting director Gil de Ferran.

STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 358 - CHAMPION

2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 294 (-64)

3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 236 (-122)

4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 227 (-131)

5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 216 (-142)

Constructors

1. Mercedes 585

2. Ferrari 530 (-55)

3. Red Bull 362 (-223)

4. Renault 114 (-471)

5. Haas 84 (-501)

RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)

Friday

FP1 (14:00-15:30) FP2 (18:00-19:30)

Saturday

FP3 (15:00-16:00) Qualifying (18:00-19:00)

Sunday

Race (18:10-20:10)

F1 FACT

If Mercedes win the constructors' title, the German team (5) will surpass Red Bull (4) on the all-time list, only Ferrari (16), Williams (9), McLaren (8) and Lotus (7) have more titles in F1.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2017: Sebastian Vettel

2016: Lewis Hamilton

2015: Nico Rosberg

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    Story first published: Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 0:30 [IST]
    Other articles published on Nov 7, 2018
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