MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Brazilian GP

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The Brazilian Grand Prix is renowned for being one of the most unpredictable and exciting races on the Formula 1 calendar, playing host to a number of championship deciders over the years.

Both titles may already have been decided in 2015, but that does not stop the paddock from relishing the return to Interlagos.

As usual, lead MotorSportsTalk writers Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno have made their predictions ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix, which you can watch live on NBCSN, CNBC and Live Extra this weekend.

For full information on TV and streaming times, click here.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Despite lacking the pace in Mexico, I’m tipping Lewis to bounce back this weekend and claim his first, overdue win in Brazil. In a year that has seen him emulate Ayrton Senna by clinching his third world championship, it only seems right that he will do so again by winning in front of the Brazilian fans.

Surprising FinishFelipe Massa. Having finished on the podium in Brazil five times previously, Massa has a habit of impressing on home soil. Williams should carry its strong Mexico showing over to Brazil, so expect Massa to fight for the podium.

Most to ProveAlexander Rossi and Will Stevens. Maybe a little harsh, but given that they are occupying the two only remaining seats on the grid for 2016, both need to put in a good performance here to prove they deserve a place in F1 next year.

Additional Storyline to WatchNew Interlagos paddock. It’s hardly groundbreaking news, but Interlagos is currently in the process of upgrading its paddock. Previously cramped and hard to work in, it is now more spacious – even if it is unfinished.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa Williams

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race Winner: Nico Rosberg. Am I doing the unthinkable and actually not picking Hamilton or hometown hero Massa? Will this bite me later? Yes to the first question, and hoping no to the second. We saw how good Rosberg can be when the pressure’s off in Mexico City and he’s entering Brazil fresh off winning here a year ago. It may not mean anything in terms of the championship itself but to solidify his grasp on second place, another win would do him well.

Surprising Finish: Nico Hulkenberg. Arguably this has been the “Hulk’s” best track, or one of, throughout his F1 career. His lone pole came in mixed conditions in 2010, and he led the race in 2012. If there’s a track for him to secure his elusive first career podium, it’s here… although in actuality, a fifth or sixth place is a realistic best case scenario.

Most to Prove: Sebastian Vettel. Haven’t slotted Seb in this spot all year but after a rare, ragged race in Mexico City, needs a bounce back event in Brazil.

Additional Storyline to Watch: Any Red Bull resolution. We’re running out of Grands Prix – and time – for a formal resolution to the Red Bull power unit saga for 2016. Does one come this weekend in Brazil?

Predict the Podium

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa Williams