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To circuits

Brazilian GP

Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace Interlagos, São Paulo
  • FP1 11 Nov 2022 -
  • FP2 11 Nov 2022 -
  • FP3 12 Nov 2022 -
  • Quali 12 Nov 2022 -
  • Race 13 Nov 2022 -


First held 1973
Laps 71
Circuit length 4.309 kilometer
Fastest lap 1:10.540 (2018)
Winner in 2019 Max Verstappen
Second in 2019 Pierre Gasly
Third in 2019 Carlos Sainz


Winner 2019 Max Verstappen
Winner 2018 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2017 Sebastian Vettel
Winner 2016 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2015 Nico Rosberg

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, better known as the Interlagos Circuit, will remain Brazil’s home for F1 until 2025 after a new agreement was ratified, with the event now rebranded as the Sao Paulo Grand Prix starting in 2021. The most populous city in Brazil has been home to the event since 1990.

F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix 2021

The first event held at Interlagos dates back to 1972, with the first world championship event taking place a year later.

Buoyed by the popularity and success of world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, the festive mood in the stands has translated into action on the track thanks to tricky banked corners and constant elevation changes that test a driver’s focus.

The circuit flows in a counter-clockwise direction, a rarity in the sport, and starts with a long straight that then flows into the “S do Senna”, named after Brazil's favourite son Ayrton Senna, for Turns 1 and 2.

A slow middle section features several small turns and elevation changes, while the end of the lap from Juncao to Turn 1 is taken at full throttle.

Early Brazilian GP history

Carlos Reutemann won the first race in Brazil, a non-championship event, for Brabham, with the Brazilian GP part of the F1 World Championship the following year. Home fans were treated to a victory by a local hero, as Sao Paulo native and defending World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi won the race.

Fittipaldi made it two in a row the following year in rain soaked conditions, while fellow Brazilian driver Carlos Pace took the chequered flag in 1976 - with Fittipaldi coming home in third.

Reutemann won the 1977 race for Ferrari with Michelin tyres, the French company's first win in F1. However, by this time drivers had begun to complain about Interlagos' rough surface. As a result the race was moved to the new Jacarepagua circuit in Rio de Janeiro.

Move to Jacarepagua and return to Interlagos

The move to Rio de Janeiro was short lived, with Reutemann once again taking the chequered flag for Ferrari. The race returned to Interlagos, with Ligiers' Jacque Laffite taking the chequered flag.

Originally, the plan was to alternate the Brazilian GP between Sao Paulo and Rio, however deteriorating conditions at Jacarepagua saw the event moved to Interlagos for the 1980 race, with Rene Arnoux winning for Renault.

However, with drivers unhappy with the safety conditions at the bumpy Interlagos circuit, the decision was made to move the race back to Rio, where it remained for the next decade.

Reutemann took his third and final win in Brazil in 1981, disobeying team orders to beat Williams teammate Alan Jones to the finish line. Alain Prost was awarded the win the following year after Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg, who finished first and second, were both disqualified after their cars were found to be underweight.

Piquet didn't miss out on victory the following year, with pole sitter Rosberg second and Niki Lauda third. However after the race, the Finn was disqualified after receiving a push start in the pits. Curiously, the drivers behind him were not promoted, meaning second place was not officially awarded.

Prost won in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988, with Piquet taking the 1986 Brazilian GP. The 1988 event saw the up-and-coming Ayrton Senna deliver a memorable performance. After starting from the pit lane in what was his first race for McLaren, the Brazilian charged through the field to finish second. Unfortunately for him, he was later disqualified after switching to his spare car after the parade lap had already begun.

The 1989 race was the last held at Jacarepagua. Nigel Mansell won for Ferrari in what was the first victory for a car with a semi-automatic gearbox.

Brazilian GP returns to the new Interlagos

With Senna's F1 stock quickly rising, officials in his native Sao Paulo worked hard to revamp the Interlagos circuit, with $15 million being invested.

The 1990 race was held on the shortened Interlagos, which has stayed in place since. Prost won his sixth Brazilian GP that season, the 40th of his career, though the victory wasn't well received by local fans following his clash with Senna at the previous year's Japanese GP. Senna had to settle for third after hitting back marker Satoru Nakajima despite leading most of the race.

Senna finally took victory on home soil the following year despite gearbox issues late in the race. In the end he managed to keep Williams' Riccardo Patrese at bay, though the Brazilian needed help out of his car as he crossed the line exhausted and overwhelmed by the result.

Mansell dominated for Williams the following year, while Senna won in 1993 in a race that saw rival Prost crash on the main straight and retire. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he spun out while trying to catch Michael Schumacher the following year, with the German going on to take win. It proved to be his final Brazilian GP, as he lost his life at the San Marino GP later that year.

Alonso becomes World Champion in Brazil

Schumacher won from David Coulthard and Gerhard Berger in 1995, however the latter two were initially disqualified for apparently using illegal fuel. In the end, however the decision was later overturned a few weeks later.

Jacques Villeneuve took the 1997 Brazilian GP despite being involved in a first lap incident that involved four cars. However the race was stopped and restarted, with the Canadian jumping into his spare car to win the race.

Juan Pablo Montoya announced himself to the F1 world in 2001, muscling his way past Schumacher early on before his race ended in shocking circumstances when he was ran into from behind by Arrows' Jos Verstappen. Coulthard won the race, which saw Michael and Ralf Schumacher become the first brothers to start on the front row of the grid together.

Giancarlo Fisichella won the shortened edition of the 2003 Brazilian GP, as two major crashes blocked the circuit, resulting in the race being stopped. The victory was initially given to Kimi Raikkonen due to the rule that stipulated the results be taken from the running order two laps prior to the race being stopped. However further evidence later proved Fisichella crossed the line for the lead a second time before the race was stopped.

Fernando Alonso became World Champion at the 2005 Brazilian GP, as his third place finish behind Montoya and Raikkonen was enough to clinch the title with two races remaining. The following year the race was the final event of the season, with Schumacher, in what was his final race for Ferrari, deliver a masterclass.

A flat tyre saw him fall all the way to 19th, however he managed to fight his way through the field and finish fourth. Unfortunately for the German, the performance wasn't enough to win his eighth title, with Alonso securing his second championship at a race that saw Felipe Massa lead from start to finish.

Hamilton takes first World Championship in dramatic fashion

There was more drama at the 2008 Brazilian GP. A late shower caused chaos with Massa and Lewis Hamilton battling it out for the World Championship. The Briton needed to secure fifth to clinch the title, however he found himself outside of the target with three laps remaining after being passed by Sebastian Vettel.

While the focus was on the Briton and the German, both drivers eventually managed to pass Timo Glock, who was ahead of them, with Hamilton doing so on the last corner before the final straight. This meant that although Massa crossed the line to win the race for Ferrari, the championship went to Hamilton thanks to his fifth-place finish.

The title was once again on the line in 2009, with Jenson Button finishing fifth to secure his only Drivers' Championship over Vettel.

Red Bull dominated the Brazilian GP from 2009 to 2013, with Mark Webber and Vettel both winning on two occasions, with the lone blemish coming in 2012 when Button won for McLaren. Although Vettel failed to win that day, his sixth place finish was enough to secure his third consecutive Drivers' Championship.

The 2013 race also saw Schumacher participate in his final F1 race for Mercedes. From there the Silver Arrows won the next three events, with Nico Rosberg taking the first two and Hamilton taking the chequered flag in 2016. The latter race featured an astonishing driver from Max Verstappen, who went from 16th to third in 15 laps after Red Bull botched its tyre strategy.

Vettel won for Ferrari in 2018, while Hamilton claimed victory the following year in what was the first Brazilian GP without a Brazilian on the grid, following Felipe Massa's retirement at the end of the 2019 season.

Most successful F1 drivers and teams

Alain Prost remains the most successful driver at the Brazilian GP, winning six times between 1982 and 1990. Next on the list is Michael Schumacher with four, while Carlos Reutemann's four wins included a non-World Championship event.

As for the Constructors, McLaren lead the way with 12 victories compared to Ferrari's 11. Williams sit on six wins, one more than Red Bull and two more than Mercedes.

The Brazilian Grand Prix 2020

Cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 edition of the race saw Verstappen cross the line first in his Red Bull after starting from pole position.

Pierre Gasly took second, while Hamilton crossed the line third despite a late collision with Alexander Albon. However the stewards later handed the Brit a five-second time penalty which promoted Carlos Sainz and his McLaren to third. It was Gasly and Sainz’s first time on the podium and also set a new record for youngest combined podium age.

When is the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 12-14 November and is provisionally set to be the 19th race of the Formula 1 season. The first free practice session will take place on 12 November with Sprint Qualifying on Saturday 13 November at 19:30 GMT.

What time does the Sao Paulo Grand Prix start?

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix starts on Sunday 14 November 2021 at 17:00 GMT. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365’s live blog and on F1 TV.

F1 Sao Paulo GP 2021 Schedule

Session Date Time (UK)
Free Practice 1 Friday 12 November 15:30 - 16:30
Qualifying Friday 12 November 19:00 - 20:00
Free Practice 2 Saturday 13 November 15:00 - 16:00
Sprint Qualifying Saturday 13 November 19:30 - 20:00
Race Sunday 14 November 17:00