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Brazilian Grand Prix 2023

Five times the Brazilian Grand Prix produced drama

The Brazilian Grand Prix takes place this weekend as Formula 1 returns to the famed Intlerlagos Circuit. The track is deeply rooted in F1 history, so here are five times that the venue has produced dramatic moments.

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The 20th round of the Formula 1 campaign takes place at the Interlagos Circuit, host of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The track has a long history with F1 and has been the scene of several title deciders as it used to be the traditional final spot on the F1 calendar.

In the last 20 years, there have been serval dramatic moments at the track - so here are five to reminisce ahead of this weekend's event!

Weather-related chaos in 2003

The 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix was dramatic for a number of reasons and it all was rooted to the appalling conditions that hit the track before the start of the race.

The circuit was heavily saturated and a river at Turn 3 caused six drivers to spin off and into the wall, including then five-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

Rubens Barrichello looked to be on course for a maiden victory in his home country before a car issue forced him to the sidelines, with Ferrari suffering a painful double non-finish.

Following Barrichello’s retirement, Kimi Raikkonen was leading the race but a mistake saw Jordan’s Giancarlo Fisichella slip through for the win. Moments later, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso had a heavy crash at the final corner which resulted in the race being stopped.

Taking the result from two laps back, Raikkonen was declared the winner but days later the decision was reverted with Fisichella declared the victor - it was the final time Jordan won a Grand Prix.

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	© xpb.cc

Hamilton’s dramatic title win in 2008

Few, if any title deciders were as dramatic as Hamilton’s maiden F1 title in 2008. Heading into the event, Hamilton led rival Felipe Massa by seven points.

For much of the race, Massa was in control out front and produced a strong drive, doing all he needed to do to fend off the challenge from McLaren and seal his first-ever championship.

It was looking good for the Ferrari driver - and even when he crossed the line to take the chequered flag, he was in position to take the title.

A few laps before Massa’s race-winning moment, rain began to fall which prompted Hamilton into the pit lane while a handful of those around him opted to stick it out on dry weather tyres.

Initially, Hamilton struggled and lost position to Sebastian Vettel, denting his chances of taking the championship. But as the rain fell harder, those on dry tyres lost pace - including Timo Glock.

At the final braking point on the circuit, Hamilton moved ahead of the Toyota driver to put himself back in position and break the hearts of Massa and the attending Brazilian fans.

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	© xpb.cc

Vettel’s recovery to his third title in 2012

Sebastian Vettel’s titles in 2011 and 2013 were sealed through pure domination, but his third championship in 2012 was one for the history books.

The Red Bull driver was the favourite heading into the race as he held a 13-point lead over Fernando Alonso.

However, contact with Bruno Senna on the opening lap sent Vettel spinning around - however he was miraculously able to continue in the race with no overriding damage.

A quick charge through the field in the opening laps saw him fly up the order before he opted to stop for intermediate tyres as the rain persisted throughout the race.

Vettel was rarely ever out of action as continuous overtakes were made, especially in the latter stages of the Grand Prix. He vaulted himself into fifth place which was enough to secure the title when the race finished under a Safety Car following a crash for Paul di Resta.

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	© XPBimages

Hamilton’s blockbuster weekend in 2021

As the 2021 title fight entered its final round, matters appeared to take a swing in Max Verstappen’s favour when Hamilton was disqualified from the qualifying classification for a technical infringement.

Sao Paulo hosted the final sprint weekend of the year and with Hamilton also taking a grid penalty for Sunday’s Grand Prix due to exceeding his engine component quota, Verstappen was expected to emerge with a stronger grasp in the title fight.

However, Hamilton showcased an incredible pace from the pack of the grid to rise to fourth place at the end of the sprint. It therefore meant he began the main race from 10th, with his engine penalty applied.

Similar pace was on display during the race and try as Verstappen might to deny Hamilton the lead, Hamilton forced his way through for the win.

It remains one of Hamilton’s greatest weekends in F1 despite his setbacks and kept him in the hunt for the title right until the very end of that year’s campaign.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Haas’ shock pole position in 2022

Backmarker fairy tale stories are always great for F1 and the most recent highlight came at last year’s race in Brazil when Kevin Magnussen stuck his car on pole position.

Rain threatened to fall on the circuit throughout qualifying and there was rush to get over the line with the wet weather always seemingly moments away.

Magnussen impressed to put his car into Q3 and was the first driver to set a lap when the rain started to fall. His rivals crossed the line behind him but no one could better his effort.

George Russell then made a mistake and beached his car in the gravel, resulting in a red flag. The rain persisted and with Intermediate tyres the only option as drivers returned to the circuit, no one could topple Magnussen.

It marked Haas’ and Magnussen’s first pole position in F1 and reminded eveyrone of the feel-good nature that comes from unexpected success.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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