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Autódromo José Carlos Pace

Formula 1 circuit

Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Credit: Mercedes
Vital statistics for Autódromo José Carlos Pace
CircuitAutódromo José Carlos Pace
LocationSão Paulo
Race debut1972
Results for the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix
Pole positionValtteri Bottas
Race winnerSebastian Vettel
Fastest lapMax Verstappen

Brazil is heralded for the party atmosphere, fans raise the spirit of any season-ending race, whether the championship has been decided, or a title battle is going down to the wire. Run in an anti-clockwise direction, the circuit has elevation changes throughout, and a bumpy track to boot. The weather can play its part, and Safety Car periods are not an unusual occurrence as drivers and machinery alike grow weary at season's end.

F1 history

The Brazilian Grand Prix has more recently played host to the Formula One season finale, providing a party atmosphere and an action-packed race to send the season off in style - no matter whether the championship was still in contention or not. For 2014 onwards, the race moved to become the penultimate round, with Abu Dhabi taking up final hosting duties.

No matter where it sits in the calendar, though, there’s something about the Brazilian race that inspires, raises the excitement levels and gets fans anticipating a brilliant weekend. The track is full of character and has plenty to keep the drivers on their toes.

From the first off-camber corner, through twisting sections and just a couple of tricky straights, the drivers have to keep their concentration levels high. Faster curves litter the laps, although there are a couple of extremely tight turns that allow for overtaking opportunities. The final run up the hill, with advertising boardings on the outside of the track, sticks in the mind, as drivers bring home a fast lap, end a fantastic race, and perhaps even wrap up a championship battle.

The weather plays its part over the Interlagos track, with mixed conditions making life difficult. Tyre strategy is always key in current F1, but with the added possibility of using wet tyres at some point during a weekend, keeping an eye on the forecasts is supremely important in Brazil.

Likewise, the safety car is often spotted out on track at some point during a race. The demands of the track and its position during the latter stages of the season can cause reliability issues in the cars, and the drivers are often pushing for points with a lot to prove. Both can end in accidents or incidents that require a safety car intervention, and that also adds to the potential strategy problems for those on the pit wall.

With a fanatical crowd and a party atmosphere from start to finish, Brazil has impressed over the last couple of years, shaking off the concerns of increased crime getting to and from the track. There have been a handful of reports of robberies and equipment going missing, but for most, it is worth the risk. The drivers enjoy the circuit, the grandstands are packed to bursting, and the track almost always delivers a good race, as Brazil plays its part in bringing the season to a spectacular close.

Learn more about Interlagos with the Pocket F1 Handbook.