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Pascal Vasselon on Interlagos

In the recent FIA survey, Toyota emerged as the least popular of the F1 teams. Why that should be so I have no idea, especially when one considers that the team’s main spokesperson, Pascal Vasselon, is one of the most articulate and level-headed people in the sport. When he speaks, I listen.

TF 106B

Toyota TF 106B

Autosport magazine has posted an interview with Pascal today and he discusses the Brazilan race from a position of considerable knowledge and understanding of the Interlagos circuit. For instance, we have heard a lot about the bumps on the track but only M. Vasselon has pointed out that they are a problem that won’t go away. As the name suggests (Interlagos means “between the lakes”), much of the circuit is built upon a lake bed and it is the instability of the underlying ground that causes the bumps.

He then goes into some detail on how the unpredictability of the Brazilian weather affects race strategy and it makes interesting reading. The fact that the rain does not cool the track surface much has an effect on the suitability of wet weather tires, for example. It all adds up to an explanation for the Brazilian Grand Prix often springing surprises. And that has to make the racing more exciting for the fans.

Most team managers are very bullish when asked about a team’s prospects for the next race; they will talk about it as if they were in with a real chance of victory (and we know they can’t all be right). But Pascal is refreshing in his sober assessment of Toyota’s chances. They are “reasonably optimistic of a strong performance” it seems.

To me, that seems exactly the right blend of optimism and realism. Pascal is one of those who are not afraid to “tell it like it is”.

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