Circuit Name: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
Lap Record: Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) 1min 11.473secs - 2004
Where is the circuit?
The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit is based in the Interlagos region of Sao Paulo, and is often named after the neighbourhodd that it is situated in. The name ‘Interlagos’ means ‘Between the Lakes’ in Portugese
What about the track stats?
The circuit is 2.676 miles (4.309km) long and is run in an anti-clockwise direction, putting tremendous strain on the driver’s necks. It has an official total of 15 corners overall, with 9 left hand turns and 6 right hand turns. It also has the longest pit lane currently in F1.
What type of circuit is it?
The Interlagos track is a permanent facility, built on a piece of land between two lakes. It is currently a medium downforce circuit, but drivers can hit speeds of around 190mph by the end of the start-finish straight
What about its history?
The site where the circuit is was originally purchased for housing development, but the 1939 market crash led to a racing circuit being built instead. The circuit was originally 5 miles long and very fast, and often hosted the first race of the season in the 1970’s and 1990’s. It was shortened to it’s current configuration in 1990 after the race moved briefly to Rio De Janeiro. The circuit is also named after the first Brazilian to win his home race, Carlos Pace who won here in 1975. The last Brazilian to win at home was Felipe Massa in 2008 – the year that Lewis Hamilton pipped him to the title on the last corner of the last lap by overtaking a struggling Timo Glock.
Which corners will challenge the drivers?
The first real challenge of the lap is under braking into the first chicane, known as the Senna S. The circuit moves slightly to the left before dropping downhill sharply to the left. It seems to go on forever before turning right at the bottom of the hill and spitting the cars out towards Turn 3.
The drivers will also be challenged in the uphill Laranjinha corner at Turn 7, where the drivers cannot see the exit of the corner and can easily run wide. A good car will stick to the ground here, while a car struggling will run wide or have a nervous back end going through this corner
What are the chances of a first corner incident?
About 50% I would say. Over the years there has been a fair share of incidents at the first chicane, catching out drivers such as Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve, but the circuit is also wide enough to allow cars to travel side by side through the turn. Any incident on the exit of the corner could lead to one thing..............
And safety cars?
Yep the dreaded safety car. With a narrow circuit and close barriers a big accident here usually requires a safety car to get the place cleaned up. And if it rains here, usually the safety car can lead just as much laps as anyone else, as the 2003 race showed
Where are the overtaking spots?
There is only really one overtaking spot at Interlagos, and that is into Turn 1. There is even grip right across the circuit and the long sweeping pit straight usually allows drivers to follow each other closely. Expect to see quite a few overtaking moves into this corner during the race
What about tyre wear and brake wear?
Neither are usually an issue at this circuit. With the race taking place in the Brazilian spring, the air and track temperature should not be that high, meaning the tyres should be able to last a long distance. And with only two heavy braking areas on the circuit, brake wear will also not be an issue for any of the drivers.
And pit stops?
Status quo here by the looks of it with one stop for each. The leading drivers will probably stop around laps 15-20 to change to hard tyres and make them last for the remainder of the race, while some of the midfield runners may run a long first stint on the hard tyre before pitting for the option tyre after lap 40.
A lap of Interlagos onboard with Rubens Barrichello in th 2009 Brawn Mercedes