The Interlagos circuit takes its name from the Sao Paulo suburb in which it is located. This is another old style Formula 1 track and, despite comprehensive changes to it layout, the current one still produces races that are unpredictable and get the adrenalin flowing.
The Autodromo Carlos Pace is 4.3 kilometres in length and is driven in an anti-clockwise direction. The layout features plenty of changes of gradient, which makes it particularly demanding for the drivers and it’s not short of overtaking opportunities, such as the first corner or in the braking zone for Turn 4. The pit straight and the “Reta Oposta,” or back straight, are both designated as DRS zones, which means slipstreaming comes into play.
At Interlagos, the cars run in high downforce configuration, an absolute necessity for the slower, twisty sections, but at the same time the set-up should allow the cars to achieve a good top speed. One factor that assists in this is that the circuit is quite high up, even if the altitude is nowhere near as great as in Mexico City.
The Interlagos track sits at 700 metres above sea-level, so that the air is more rarified. The transmission systems come in for a hard time, with a driver making around 3,200 gear changes during the race, so gearbox reliability is a key factor.
Michael Schumacher dominates the records at Interlagos, having won four times, while Sebastian Vettel is next up on three. In 2018, Valtteri Bottas set a new lap record in his Mercedes, the Finn posting a time of 1.10.540.
FIRST GRAND PRIX: 1973
NUMBER OF LAPS: 71
CIRCUIT LENGTH: 4.309 KM
RACE DISTANCE: 305.909 KM
LAP RECORD: 1:11.044 – MAX VERSTAPPEN (2017)
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