Formula 1

Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

As we reach the homestretch with just three races remaining, the Formula One schedule takes us to Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Interlagos circuit made its calendar debut in 1973 and with the exception of last season has been a fixture on the schedule since 1990, making it the eighth most visited venue in the history of the sport. The circuit is one of the shortest of the season but also one of the most demanding. Drivers see some of the hottest and most humid temperatures of the season and quick demanding turns. 

While not as extreme as Mexico, elevation changes at Interlagos can have an effect on the aerodynamic packages.  Normally teams run high downforce, requiring good mechanical grip from the Pirelli tires.  Weather can oftentimes be an equalizer and for the weekend  the weather looks very unsettled, with rain expected all weekend.

Arriving at the perfect setup can be tricky as teams need to balance a desire for high levels of downforce in the tight and twisting infield section against the need to minimise drag on the straight between Turns 3, the Curva do Sol, and Turn 4, Descida do Lago, and especially on the long sweep from Turn 12 to Turn 1

Lewis Hamilton has found less success on race day in São Paulo than other circuits.  Hamilton has had just five podium finishes in thirteen career starts at Brazil, and picked up his second win in2018. Sebastian Vettel joins Hamililton as the only multiple winners of the Brazilian GP still currently competing in F1 with three victories to his credit.

Speed Points:

  • Pole doesn’t always equate to victory at Interlagos, however. In 37 races run there, the pole sitter has triumphed just 15 times, a ratio of 40.5%- one of the lowest of any circuit on the current calendar. 
  • Six of the last seven winners have come from pole however
  • Drivers have won from pole just eight times since 2000.
  • Giancarlo Fisichella won in 2003 coming from the furthest back on the grid in Brazilian GP history, taking the win from 8th starting spot.
  • Seven drivers have scored their maiden podium in Brazil, including Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly the last time we were here in 2019. The others are: Jochen Mass (P3, 1975); Elio de Angelis (P2, 1980); Mauricio Gugelmin (P3, 1989); Damon Hill (P2, 1993), and Nick Heidfeld (P3, 2001). Heidfeld’s 2001 podium was the beginning of his march to an F1 record he undoubtedly wishes he no longer held – that of driver with the most podium finishes without a win. Nick has 13. 
  • In 2019 Carlos Sainz Jr. started 20th on the grid and made his way finish in P3 for his first career podium.
  • Lewis Hamilton has only managed to outqualify a team mate three times in Brazil in the past seven races here, when he beat Nico Rosberg to pole in 2016 and again in 2018 when he took pole. In 2019 he was P3 two spots ahead of Bottas. 
  • Sebastian Vettel leading for 11 laps would see him clinch Michael Schumacher’s record for laps led at Interlagos – currently 236. Seven laps led for either Vettel or Charles Leclerc will give Ferrari the record for the most laps led by a constructor at Interlagos, currently held by McLaren.
  • In the last twelve races, the only drivers to win Brazilian Grand Prix and the World Title were Kimi Räikkönen in 2007, Sebastian Vettel in 2010 & 2013 and Lewis Hamilton in 2018. 


The Brazilian Grand Prix will use the C2 compound as the P Zero White hard, C3 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 as the P Zero Red soft: the same tire choice as has been made for all the races in North America and now South America this year. The last time the cars ran here in 2019, the choices were one step harder. The short and intense Interlagos lap is one of the relatively few counter-clockwise layouts on the calendar, with a non-stop succession of corners that keeps the tires working hard: particularly the front-right. The short lap means that traffic can be an issue and there’s also a high safety car probability, so any sprint qualifying or race strategy needs to bear that in mind. The weather in Brazil at this time of year can range from intense heat to torrential rain, with some grooves having been cut in the asphalt to help drainage in the event of heavy rain.

Minimum starting Tire Pressures: 22.0 psi (front) |20.0 psi (rear)

EOS Camber Limit: -3.50°(front) |-2.00°(rear)

Brazilian GP Quick Facts: 

Tire Allocations: C4 (red), C3 (yellow), C2(white)

Location: Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos), Permanent Circuit. 15 turns. (São Paulo, Brazil)

Lap Length:  4.309 km/2.677 mi

Race Length: 71 laps

Fastest Lap: 2018 Valtteri Bottas – 1:07.281 in a Mercedes

Qualifying Record: 2018 Lewis Hamilton -1:07.281 in a Mercedes

Most wins by Constructor:  McLaren has 12 Brazilian Grand Prix titles, Ferrari has taken the crown on 11 occasions and Williams has 6 titles with the last coming in 2004. 

Most wins by a Driver: Alain Prost was a six time winner of the Brazilian GP, Michael Schumacher won four times, Carlos Reutemann won three times as sanctioned FIA events, he also won a fourth time in 1972 prior to the GP being an FIA race.  Sebastian Vettel won for the third time in his career last season

Winners of the Brazilian Grand Prix

2019Max VerstappenRed BullInterlagos
2018Lewis HamiltonMercedesInterlagos
2017Sebastian VettelFerrariInterlagos
2016Lewis HamiltonMercedesInterlagos
2015Nico RosbergMercedesInterlagos
2014Nico RosbergMercedesInterlagos
2013Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultInterlagos
2012Jenson ButtonMcLaren-MercedesInterlagos
2011Mark WebberRed Bull-RenaultInterlagos
2010Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultInterlagos
2009Mark WebberRed Bull-RenaultInterlagos
2008Felipe MassaFerrariInterlagos
2007Kimi RäikkönenFerrariInterlagos
2006Felipe MassaFerrariInterlagos
2005Juan Pablo MontoyaMcLaren-MercedesInterlagos
2004Juan Pablo MontoyaWilliams-BMWInterlagos
2003Giancarlo FisichellaJordan-FordInterlagos
2002Michael SchumacherFerrariInterlagos
2001David CoulthardMcLaren-MercedesInterlagos
2000Michael SchumacherFerrariInterlagos
1999Mika HäkkinenMcLaren-MercedesInterlagos
1998Mika HäkkinenMcLaren-MercedesInterlagos
1997Jacques VilleneuveWilliams-RenaultInterlagos
1996Damon HillWilliams-RenaultInterlagos
1995Michael SchumacherBenetton-RenaultInterlagos
1994Michael SchumacherBenetton-FordInterlagos
1993Ayrton SennaMcLaren-FordInterlagos
1992Nigel MansellWilliams-RenaultInterlagos
1991Ayrton SennaMcLaren-HondaInterlagos
1990Alain ProstFerrariInterlagos
1989Nigel MansellFerrariJacarepaguá
1988Alain ProstMcLaren-HondaJacarepaguá
1987Alain ProstMcLaren-TAGJacarepaguá
1986Nelson PiquetWIlliams-HondaJacarepaguá
1985Alain ProstMcLaren-TAGJacarepaguá
1984Alain ProstMcLaren-TAGJacarepaguá
1983Nelson PiquetBrabham-BMWJacarepaguá
1982Alain ProstRenaultJacarepaguá
1981Carlos ReutemannWilliams-FordJacarepaguá
1980René ArnouxRenaultInterlagos
1979Jacques LaffiteLigier-FordInterlagos
1978Carlos ReutemannFerrariJacarepaguá
1977Carlos ReutemannFerrariInterlagos
1976Niki LaudaFerrariInterlagos
1975Carlos PaceBrabham-FordInterlagos
1974Emerson FittipaldiMcLaren-FordInterlagos
1973Emerson FittipaldiLotus-FordInterlagos