2023 Brazilian Grand Prix: Fast Facts – Brazil stands as a beacon for remarkable turnarounds in the world of Formula One. Think of Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic championship win in 2008 or Sebastian Vettel’s astounding comeback in 2012, where he overcame an early setback at turn four to clinch his third world championship. These moments of resurgence and triumph have become synonymous with the Interlagos circuit.
Nestled in Sao Paulo, Interlagos is a breeding ground for high-stakes drama. Its traditional design features challenging bends, treacherous, grass-lined run-offs, and varying elevations that test even the most skilled drivers. The circuit is notorious for its erratic weather, turning each race into a thrilling, unpredictable event. Interlagos has etched itself into Formula One folklore for these reasons and more.
Memorable moments abound here, from Ayrton Senna‘s legendary 1991 victory to the championship pursuits of Jenson Button and Kimi Räikkönen, among countless other unforgettable instances. The fervent fans, filling the stands in droves, add to the circuit’s electrifying atmosphere, making it a standout in the racing calendar.
What truly sets the Brazilian races apart is their inherent potential for dramatic comebacks. Regardless of a driver’s position at the start, or the challenges faced in the initial stages of the race, there’s always a chance for a stunning comeback. It’s about resilience, determination, and seizing opportunities as they arise, making every Brazilian Grand Prix an eagerly anticipated event.
2023 Brazilian Grand Prix Schedule
Here’s the schedule for the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix:
|Nov 3, 2023||Practice 1||11:30 – 12:30|
|Nov 3, 2023||Qualifying||15:00 – 16:00|
|Nov 4, 2023||Sprint Shootout||11:00 – 11:44|
|Nov 4, 2023||Sprint||15:30 – 16:30|
|Nov 5, 2023||Race||14:00|
This schedule for the Formula 1 Rolex Grande Prêmio de São Paulo 2023 is in São Paulo time
Brazilian Grand Prix 2023 – F1 Race
- First Grand Prix: 1973
- Number of Laps: 71
- Circuit Length: 4.309 km
- Race Distance: 305.879 km
- Lap Record: 1:10.540 by Valtteri Bottas (2018)
Brazilian Grand Prix: Previous Winners
|1972||Carlos Reutemann (Argentina)||Brabham-Ford|
|1973||Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil)||Lotus-Ford|
|1974||Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil)||McLaren-Ford|
|1975||Carlos Pace (Brazil)||Brabham-Ford|
|1976||Niki Lauda (Austria)||Ferrari|
|1977||Carlos Reutemann (Argentina)||Ferrari|
|1978||Carlos Reutemann (Argentina)||Ferrari|
|1979||Jacques Laffite (France)||Ligier-Ford|
|1980||René Arnoux (France)||Renault|
|1981||Carlos Reutemann (Argentina)||Williams-Ford|
|1982||Alain Prost (France)||Renault|
|1983||Nelson Piquet (Brazil)||Brabham-BMW|
|1984||Alain Prost (France)||McLaren-TAG|
|1985||Alain Prost (France)||McLaren-TAG|
|1986||Nelson Piquet (Brazil)||Williams-Honda|
|1987||Alain Prost (France)||McLaren-TAG|
|1988||Alain Prost (France)||McLaren-Honda|
|1989||Nigel Mansell (United Kingdom)||Ferrari|
|1990||Alain Prost (France)||Ferrari|
|1991||Ayrton Senna (Brazil)||McLaren-Honda|
|1992||Nigel Mansell (United Kingdom)||Williams-Renault|
|1993||Ayrton Senna (Brazil)||McLaren-Ford|
|1994||Michael Schumacher (Germany)||Benetton-Ford|
|1995||Michael Schumacher (Germany)||Benetton-Renault|
|1996||Damon Hill (United Kingdom)||Williams-Renault|
|1997||Jacques Villeneuve (Canada)||Williams-Renault|
|1998||Mika Häkkinen (Finland)||McLaren-Mercedes|
|1999||Mika Häkkinen (Finland)||McLaren-Mercedes|
|2000||Michael Schumacher (Germany)||Ferrari|
|2001||David Coulthard (United Kingdom)||McLaren-Mercedes|
|2002||Michael Schumacher (Germany)||Ferrari|
|2003||Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy)||Jordan-Ford|
|2004||Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia)||Williams-BMW|
|2005||Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia)||McLaren-Mercedes|
|2006||Felipe Massa (Brazil)||Ferrari|
|2007||Kimi Räikkönen (Finland)||Ferrari|
|2008||Felipe Massa (Brazil)||Ferrari|
|2009||Mark Webber (Australia)||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|2010||Sebastian Vettel (Germany)||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|2011||Mark Webber (Australia)||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|2012||Jenson Button (United Kingdom)||McLaren-Mercedes|
|2013||Sebastian Vettel (Germany)||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|2014||Nico Rosberg (Germany)||Mercedes|
|2015||Nico Rosberg (Germany)||Mercedes|
|2016||Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)||Mercedes|
|2017||Sebastian Vettel (Germany)||Ferrari|
|2018||Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)||Mercedes|
|2019||Max Verstappen (Netherlands)||Red Bull Racing-Honda|
|2021||Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)||Mercedes|
|2022||George Russell (United Kingdom)||Mercedes|
Note: The 2020 Brazilian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
50th Anniversary Race
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Grand Prix to be held in Brazil, a round of the championship that soon made a name for itself because of the atmosphere and the dramatic moments it produced.
The track is just 4.309 kilometres long and starts with a slight climb before plunging downhill at dizzying speeds when tackled on a flying lap on the way to Turn 1, the Senna Esses, named in honour of the three-time Paulista world champion.
This section is a good overtaking opportunity and it is followed by the Reta oposta, the first straight where the DRS can be activated up to turn 4. Here the cars test the limits of physics, generating massive G forces as the drivers aim to carry plenty of speed on the approach to the very technical second sector which goes from turn 6 to 11.
High downforce is required for this section, on what is generally a medium to high downforce track. Sector three favours a low downforce set-up, with cars once again travelling flat out.
The drivers tackle the Junção, sharp left hand bend, as the track once more goes uphill and DRS is enabled for the Subida do Boxes and Arquibancadas, a flat out left hander that leads onto the finish straight.
A lap of Interlagos only lasts about 70 seconds but it packs in as much excitement as many of the longest and most complicated tracks on the calendar.
Three In A Row For Mercedes?
After Lewis Hamilton’s win in 2021 and George Russell in 2022, can Mercedes make it three in a row in Brazil?
Team boss Toto Wolff is cautiously optimistic of a strong showing…
‘We came away from Mexico with our advantage over Ferrari in the fight for second in the Constructors’ intact. That is an important battle for us and one we are focused on winning.
‘Leaving Mexico with a second-place finish, given the challenging start to the weekend and our grid positions, was positive. The car showed very good race pace however we know we’ve got more work to do to extract the maximum from the W14 across all three days. Lewis put in a very strong performance to score a podium and George gave it absolutely everything, even when his tyres had gone off at the end.
‘We’ve got one last race in this triple header and it’s in Brazil. We know we’ve taken a good step forward in recent races, but Mexico showed W14 can still prove tricky to master. We will look to arrive in Interlagos with a solid baseline to work with and we’ll see what we can do from there.
‘Of course, we have fond memories from Brazil, especially the past two visits with Lewis’ spectacular win in 2021 and George’s first victory in 2022. The fans are super passionate about F1, and we always get such an enthusiastic reception from them. Hopefully our package will run well there, and we can put on a good show for everyone,’ said Wolff.
How Many Wins For Max?
Max Verstappen broke his own single-season record in Mexico, raising the bar to 16. It would take a brave person to bet against him making it 17 this weekend in Brazil…
‘Looking ahead to Brazil, it’s the final race of a triple header and the last Sprint race of the season. Coming off of a good race in Mexico we are confident going into this weekend but need to keep our focus. It’s crazy to have achieved 16 wins so far this season, after last year I didn’t think it would be possible to replicate that, so it just shows what an amazing season we’re having. I am appreciative of all of the hard work and effort everyone in the Team is putting in, I’m glad we can show that on track. Now the focus is on the 17th win!’
Sergio Perez Needs A Result
After crashing out on the opening corner of his home grand prix, and mired in a spell of poor form, Sergio Perez needs a result to put the Ricciardo-to-Red-Bull rumours to bed.
‘Mexico was devastating for me but in this sport these things happen, and you can’t afford to keep going over what could have been. I wanted to win my home race more than anything but that is gone now and my full focus is on finishing second in the Championship. We need to have a great weekend in Brazil and I feel confident in our ability to get results right now. It felt like things were coming together last weekend with the direction we are taking, I am more comfortable in the car, the work the Team and I have put in together is paying off in terms of set up and performance. Brazil is a totally different challenge to Mexico but it’s always a fun track and we have two opportunities to score points this weekend, so while Sprint weekends are a challenge on set up, we want to maximise this chance all we can.’
Daniel Ricciardo Hitting Form
Speaking of Daniel Ricciardo…
After coming back from his injury sustained at Zandvoort, the affable Aussie is hitting form at exactly the right time, which is turning up the pressure on the aforementioned Sergio Perez.
Could strong results at the final three races see him displace Perez in the Red Bull?
“Mexico was a great weekend from start to finish, and I was really happy. We had a good car and made the most of it. I stayed there for a couple of days after the race before coming down to São Paulo.
“Interlagos is a very short track, and there aren’t many corners, so you have to make sure you get them all pretty clean because if you make a mistake, there’s nowhere really to make up the time lost. Physically, it’s a tough one on the neck, being run anti-clockwise, and you feel like you’re always turning left at this track. Additionally, the fact that the asphalt has low grip means this is a tricky one. I know this is another race at higher than usual altitude, but while I definitely noticed it in Mexico, even just running up some stairs, I can’t say I’ve ever felt it in Brazil.
“This is another Sprint weekend after the one in Austin, and I’m excited about it as I feel we have much more confidence in the car and how to set it up. Obviously, with me having raced two weekends in a row since I came back, I’m looking forward to dealing with the Sprint format at Interlagos. Having said that, it’s hard to know how well this track will suit our car. I guess I haven’t done enough races with it to know which types of tracks are best for us. In Mexico, we did better than expected, so that gives us confidence for Brazil. I’d hope we can have another Q3, top ten car.
“There are some great corners here, the most obvious being the Senna Esses. It’s where you can overtake, usually planning it a while before, maybe seeing what the car in front has done on the previous lap, to understand if they’re going to leave an opening or defend, which is the fun part of the sport.
“Brazil is always exciting, and the crowd is pretty real there. It’s very similar to Mexico in that it feels like there’s a stadium atmosphere with the air horns and flares, bands playing, and people dancing in the grandstands. I enjoy it, and then the churrascarias are always fun!” said Ricciardo.
Brazilian Grand Prix: Fast Facts
- The Autódromo José Carlos Pace is the fourth-shortest circuit on the 2023 F1 calendar at just 4.309 km long.
- The only tracks shorter than it are Monaco, Zandvoort, and last weekend’s venue, Mexico.
- However, 67% of the lap is spent at full throttle.
- That ensures that it is the second-quickest lap time of the year, behind only the Red Bull Ring.
- The current lap record is held by former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who recorded a 1m 10.540 in 2018.
- The absolute track record, the fastest ever lap of the circuit in an F1 car, is held by Lewis who recorded a 1m 07.281 to take pole position in the same year.
- The São Paulo Grand Prix venue is situated 800 metres above sea level, the second-highest altitude we visit on the calendar.
- Again, only last weekend’s venue in Mexico City is higher although that has significantly more elevation, clocking in at over 2,200 metres above sea level.
- Interlagos provides a tricky challenge to set-up the cars. The first and third sectors require low drag for the long straights, but the twisty middle sector requires high downforce.
- With two DRS zones, the focus typically falls towards higher downforce for the ultimate fastest lap, but a balance still needs to be found to be competitive for overtaking and defending during the race.
- From the exit of Turn 12, there is 1.2 km of full throttle before reaching the braking zone for Turn 1.
- In this part of the track, there is also an elevation change of 33 metres.
- The biggest change in elevation however is from the start/finish straight to Turn 4, which sees a 40 metre drop in elevation.
- The long straight before the start of a flying lap requires smart deployment of energy from the ERS to maximise performance towards the end of the out-lap.
- Turn 1 is heavily banked towards the inside, which unloads the front-left wheel and can cause lockups.
- However, as the tyre is unloaded, flat spots are less likely and time loss isn’t as high due to the steep banking and variety of lines possible.
- The uphill grid requires the drivers to find a balance between holding the car on the brakes as gently as possible, without rolling backwards.
- From Turn 10 to Turn 6 (around 3.5 km) the left-hand front tyre does very little work and therefore cools down quickly. This provides a challenge in keeping the tyre in its operating window.
- Interlagos is a flowing circuit, with plenty of combined corner entries (where the car is cornering and braking at the same time). This means good stability is important along with a good front-end for the low-speed middle sector.
- Track temperatures can reach some of the hottest of the season here, getting up towards 60 °C.
- The weather in São Paulo can also be mixed at this time of year. It is not uncommon to see sunshine and high daily temperatures followed quickly by a thunderstorm bringing a deluge of rain.
- This weekend’s São Paulo Grand Prix marks the final sprint event of the 2023 season.
- Another podium finish in 2023 will see Max break his record for the most podiums in a single season, 18, which he set in his first title-winning season in 2021.
- The Sao Paulo GP on 13 November 2022 was the last time Max finished outside the top five in any race or Sprint event.