BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
AUTODROMO JOSE CARLOS PACE - SÃO PAULO
Brazilian GP: All you need to know
The Brazilian Grand Prix first appeared on the Formula 1 calendar in 1973 and it’s never missed a year since. There have been 48 Brazil F1 GPs, with ten hosted at Rio’s Jacarepagua and the remaining 38 at Interlagos, at the Jose Carlos Pace circuit.
The venerable Interlagos circuit may be getting on in years and a little creaky in places but it remains a classic venue. The cramped and always packed paddock gives the circuit an electric, old-school feel, while the atmosphere on track is even wilder, enlivened by hordes of passionate and extremely noisy fans who pack the grandstands throughout the race weekend.
Interlagos provides them with great racing too. From the downhill run through the Senna-S, to the big overtaking point of the Descida do Lago, and the long, looping run across the hillside before the big blast from Junçao to the start-finish straight.
In recent years it’s seen some incredible races, such as Lewis Hamilton’s last gasp championship snatch-and-grab in 2008 and Sebastian Vettel’s soaking wet, white-knuckle ride to claim his third championship in 2012. There are undoubtedly more thrillers to come from this great old circuit.
AUTODROMO JOSÉ CARLOS PACE - INTERLAGOS
Between two lakes
The name Interlagos means “between lakes”, referring to two artificial ones, Guarapiranga and Billings, built at the start of the 20th century to provide water and electricity to Sao Paulo. The track is built on clay based soil which is why the surface has plenty of gradient changes and is very bumpy. Despite that, it is one of the all-time classics on the Formula 1 calendar.
Formula 1 first raced here in 1973, but the origins of the track go back much further. Opened in 1940, the layout took its inspiration from circuits such as Brooklands, the Roosevelt Raceway and Montlhery. The original version was almost 8 kilometres long, but it was redrawn, with the current version measuring 4.3 kilometres.
Home grown winners
The first three editions of the Brazilian Grand Prix were all won by homegrown talent. Emerson Fittipaldi won the first two in 1973 and ’74 with Jose Carlos Pace victorious in 1975 and today the circuit is named in his honour, after he died two years after his home win at the track.