Turn 1, the Senna S at Interlagos,

Turn 1, the Senna S at Interlagos, photo by Morio

The Brazilian Grand Prix dates back to 1972 as a non championship event and 1973 as a championship event, the Interlagos circuit used to be nearly five miles long and very high speed, it is now one of the shorter tracks on the calendar at 2.68 miles. Interlagos only returned to the calendar at this length in 1990 with the Jacarepagua circuit hosting the Brazilian Grand Prix from 1981 until 1989.

 

Brazil in recent years has become an end of year race, before it was usually at the beginning of the season, it has already seen several great showdowns such as the unforgettable 2008 title decider where Hamilton won the World Driver’s championship at the last corner.

 

2009 saw Jenson Button fighting through the field in order to gain the points necessary to win the title; in 2007 three drivers went into the race with a chance of winning the title and Raikkonen who had been lying third leapfrogged the Mclarens of Hamilton and Alonso to take his first, and to date only, World Championship.

 

Interlagos Turns 6 and 7

Interlagos Turns 6 and 7, photo by Jo Lorib

Several Brazilians have won on home turf here including Emerson Fittipaldi in 73 and 74 and then Carlos Pace in 75. Nelson Piquet won in Brazil twice though never at Interlagos, Ayrton Senna won twice at Interlagos though his first Brazilian Grand Prix victory didn’t come until 1991 where he finished the race with 3rd, 4th and 5th gear missing and after the race had to be lifted from the car due to exhaustion and severe back pain.

 

The Interlagos track has some 15 turns though the last four are really one long curve with several apexs and kinks. Turn 1 going down to turn 2 is the best overtaking opportunity where you are rewarded for late braking and perfect positioning. The medium speed left hander at turn four is also an opportunity though and from this a battle will often last right through to turn 8 especially if someone goes wide at the negatively cambered turns 6 and 7.