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Formula 1: São Paulo Grand Prix Betting Preview

The final race of the triple-header, the São Paulo Grand Prix, takes place this weekend and it’s another Sprint event.

Formula 1

The final race of the triple-header, the São Paulo Grand Prix, takes place this weekend and it’s another Sprint event.

Max Verstappen has won the last four races and has dominated most of the headlines in the sport this season.

Lewis Hamilton collected two second place finishes in the first two races of the triple header and will feel confident heading to Brazil. The seven-time world champion was given honorary citizenship by the South American country in 2022.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team has won the last two Grand Prix at Interlagos when teammate George Russell won the Sprint and GP after starting on pole. Verstappen, who last won here in 2019, starts as the favourite after winning his 16th race last weekend in Mexico City.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez has a lot riding on this weekend’s performance as he crashed out at his home race. The Mexican holds a slender 20-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings as the pair battle for second place.

The Track

We look at what the 4.309-kilometre Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace track better known as Interlagos has to offer.

The circuit was built as far back as 1938 and features banked corners, like many race tracks built during that era. There are 15 corners (5 right, 10 left) and the allocated tyre compounds are: Hard: C2, Medium: C3, and Soft: C4.

The lap kicks off with the Senna ‘S’ onto the Curva do Sol and Resta Oposta straight. The second sector is a series of twisty bits that offer camber changes looking to catch out drivers. The final section heads uphill and then onto the final banked turn.

All 71 laps will be thrilling and the drivers should change gears around 36 times while slamming on full throttle for 64% of the lap. The maximum speed at Interlagos is around 331km/h.

Fight For Victory

The Mercedes driver has performed well in the last two races and heads to Interlagos high on confidence. Russell’s win in 2022 will give the Brackley-based team confidence, but they will need a flawless weekend to beat the in-form Verstappen.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “Of course, we have fond memories from Brazil, especially the past two visits with Lewis’ spectacular win in 2021 and George’s first victory in 2022.”

The McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris cannot be discounted as the pair showed good pace in Mexico City and will relish the track’s up-and-down nature. Norris’ brilliant fifth-place finish on Sunday has him eager to show the passionate Brazilian crowd what he is capable of. McLaren is the most successful team in the race’s history, with 12 victories.

Look out for Ferrari who managed a front-row lockout in Mexico as several teams displayed good performances last time out, but ultimately failed to beat the current world champion. With Interlagos hosting the Sprint weekend there are more points up for grabs, so we expect overtaking aplenty.

A quick reminder of how the Sprint weekend works, thanks to McLaren: “The Sprint is now treated like a bite-sized grand prix weekend, with qualifying and the race squeezed into one day of action.”

It’s a standalone Saturday-based event that doesn’t affect the starting grid on Sunday. Points are handed out to the top eight finishers: the winner gets eight points, and the driver in eighth gains one point.

Wet Interlagos?

According to McLaren, there’s always a high chance of rain in São Paulo, with the city nicknamed “Land of the Drizzle”, and where there’s rain in F1, there’s quite often chaos.


GP Winner: Hamilton
Sprint Winner: Hamilton
GP Podium: Hamilton, Perez, Russell
Sprint Podium: Hamilton, Leclerc, Sainz
Pole position: Leclerc
Sprint pole: Verstappen
Fastest lap: Hamilton
First to retire: Sargeant
Fastest pitstop: McLaren
Most Team Points: Mercedes
Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: Mercedes
Practice 1/2/3 Winning Car: Verstappen/ Red Bull
Safety Car: Yes
Top 6: Piastri, Norris, Gasly, Ocon, Albon, Ricciardo
Top 10: Albon, Tsunoda, Bottas
Winning margin: Over 5 seconds
Number of classified finishers: 18

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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