In 1938 a huge plot of land was bought in Sao Paulo by two local property developers who intended to build a large housing development.
It soon became clear, however, that one part of the land was not suitable for housing and so they decided to build a racing circuit instead. Sao Paulo grew at an incredible speed though and soon the circuit was surrounded by houses.
When, in the 1970s, Emerson Fittipaldi began to have international success, the Brazilians started to want a Grand Prix. In 1971 and 1972 Interlagos hosted non-championship events but in 1973 the track staged its first championship Grand Prix.
The track became a lucky charm for local racers, with Fittipaldi and Carlos Pace taking the spoils of victory in the 1970s. Interlagos was the scene of Pace’s first and only Formula One triumph, and following his death in a plane crash the circuit was renamed in his honour.
In 1978 the Grand Prix moved to Rio, but in 1979 Interlagos got its race back. By 1981, however, Rio had retaken the Grand Prix, Sao Paulo’s slums being at odds with the glamorous image Formula One wanted to portray. When a $15m redevelopment programme was agreed in the heyday of Ayrton Senna, a Sao Paulo local, the race finally switched back to Interlagos.
And there it has stayed. Since Senna’s death there has been no Brazilian world champion, but the passion of the Brazilian fans keeps the sport coming back every year. (Source: F1.com)
Reuters by Facts & Stats
- Statistics for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo (round 19 of 20 races):
- Lap distance: 4.309km. Total distance: 305.909km (71 laps)
- 2016 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes. One minute 10.736 seconds
- 2016 winner: Hamilton
- Race lap record: Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia) Williams 1:11.473 (2004)
World Championship Titles
- Mercedes have clinched their fourth constructors’ championship in a row and Lewis Hamilton his fourth drivers’ crown.
- Hamilton, who took the title in Mexico last month, is the same age (32) as Michael Schumacher was when he took his fourth crown.
- The Briton was the first driver to be lapped in his title-winning race since compatriot James Hunt in 1976.
- British drivers have won 17 championships, more than any other nation. Germany is next on 12.
- Hamilton has 62 victories from 206 races and is second in the all-time list behind Schumacher (91). Sebastian Vettel has 46.
- Mercedes have won 11 of 18 races this season.
- Ferrari have won 228 races since 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 75 and Red Bull 55. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.
- Hamilton has won nine times this season, Vettel four. Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen two each and Daniel Ricciardo once.
- Verstappen’s three career wins have all come after Russian Daniil Kvyat was dropped or demoted by Red Bull.
- Hamilton has an all-time record 72 career poles.
- Mercedes have been on pole 13 times in 18 races: Hamilton 11 times and Bottas twice.
- Vettel has had four poles this season and his Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen one.
- Vettel took the 50th pole of his career in Mexico.
- Hamilton has 116 podiums and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Vettel has 97, Raikkonen 90.
- Hamilton has 12 podiums this season, Vettel and Bottas 11 each. Ricciardo has had nine, the most he has ever scored in a single campaign, and Raikkonen six.
- Hamilton is an unassailable 56 points clear of Vettel with two races left.
- Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson is the only driver yet to score this season of those who have started every race.
- Hamilton has 23 scoring finishes in a row, the longest such run of his career. Raikkonen holds the record of 27. Hamilton and Force India’s Esteban Ocon are the only drivers to have finished every race so far.
- Verstappen has take more points in the last four races than any other driver.
- Bottas is only 15 points behind Vettel.
Brazilian Grand Prix
- Felipe Massa is the last Brazilian to have won his home grand prix. He has not won since his 2008 success and is now the only Brazilian on the grid.
- Four of the current drivers have won in Brazil: Massa (2008, 2006), Vettel (2010, 2013), Raikkonen (2007), Hamilton (2016).
- Brazil has been on the calendar since 1973, starting at Interlagos before moving to Rio de Janeiro and then returning to Sao Paulo. The circuit is named after the late Jose Carlos Pace.
- Hamilton clinched his first title in Brazil in 2008.
- Pole position has translated into victory 13 times in 34 races in Brazil, although the last four have gone with pole.
- Massa will be competing in his last home grand prix before retiring at the end of the season.
- It has now been five years since McLaren last won a race, at Interlagos with now-retired Jenson Button in 2012.