Brazilian Grand Prix
Brazilian Grand Prix
Venue: Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagos, São Paulo
Circuit Length: 4.309 km
Number of Laps: 71
Race Distance: 305.879 km (189.739 miles)
Lap Record: 1:10.540, Valtteri Botas, Mercedes AMG, 2018
When is the Brazilian Grand Prix Held?
The Brazilian Grand Prix used to be held in March and was among the first few races in the F1 racing year. In 2004 F1 shifted the Grand Prix towards the end of the F1 racing calendar year. Since then, the Brazilian Grand Prix has seen many World Drivers’ Championship deciding races.
The Brazilian Grand Prix is usually held in the middle of November. As is routine, the Grand Prix takes place on a Sunday.
F1 Session Times
We will go through the schedule announced for the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix. That will give you an idea of the support races scheduled for the three days of action.
Note: DST is Daylight Saving Time, Brazil
Friday, November 5 2021
Brazillian Grand Prix Free Practice 1: 11:00-12:30 DST (01:00-02:30 AEDT Saturday)
Porsche Cup 4.0 Qualifying: 13:13-30 DST
Brazilian Grand Prix Free Practice 2: 15:00-16:30 DST (05:00-06:30 AEDT Saturday)
Porsche Cup 3.8 Qualifying: 17:17-30 DST
Saturday, November 6 2021
Porsche Cup 4.0 First Race (25 minutes + 1 Lap): 10:30-11:00 DST
Brazilian Grand Prix Free Practice 3: 12:00-13:30 DST (02:00-03:30 AEDT Sunday)
Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying: 15:00 DST (05:00 AEDT Sunday)
Porsche Cup 3.8 First Race (25 minutes + 1 Lap): 16:30-17:30 DST
Sunday, November 7 2021
Porsche Cup 3.8 second race (25 minutes + l lap): 08:30-09:00 DST
Porsche Cup 4.0 second race (25 minutes + l lap): 09:30-10:00 DST
F1 Drivers’ track parade: 12:30-13:00 DST
Starting Grid Presentation: 13:00-13:15 DST
Brazilian Grand Prix: 14:10-16:10 DST (04:10-6:10 AEDT Monday)
Where is the Brazilian Grand Prix held?
The Brazilian Grand Prix (Grande Prêmio do Brasil in Portuguese) is a Formula One Grand Prix held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The autodrome is located at Interlagos, 16 kilometres from São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil. The circuit was named in honour of Carlos Pace, a São Paulo local who won the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix and was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1977.
Mostly referred to as Interlagos, the circuit was built in 1940 but only hosted its first F1 Grand Prix contest in 1973. The 7.96 km long circuit was found to be bumpy and had insufficient safety barriers. From 1978 to 1989 the Brazilian Grand Prix was held at the Jacarepaguá circuit in Rio de Janeiro.
It was in 1990 that Interlagos welcomed F1 back to a shorter track (4.309 km) after a significant renovation program in which on-track safety was also improved. Since then the Grand Prix at Interlagos has been a regular feature of F1 and is usually held in mid-November. The 2020 F1 Grand Prix in Brazil, however, has been cancelled by F1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is unlikely to be rescheduled this year.
About the José Carlos Pace circuit
The José Carlos Pace circuit is one of the most challenging among the F1 circuits in the world. As it is among the last of the Grands Prix to be held in the F1 calendar year, many a World Drivers’ Championships are decided in this Grand Prix.
Interlagos literally translates to “between lakes” in Portuguese which is the national language of Brazil. The circuit is located between two large lakes and the weather is notoriously unpredictable.
The fact that it rains more often than not in the São Paulo region in November also increases the level of difficulty in negotiation on the track. Add to the fact that there is a 43-meter change in elevation between Turn 1 and Turn 5.
It means the cars will be racing downhill after Turn 1 and Turn 5 and then negotiating the banked turns uphill through the main straight all the way to Turn 1.
Although the track of the circuit has been re-laid in 2014 the facilities for the fans are showing signs of age. President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has been insisting that the 2021 Grand Prix will be held at the yet to be constructed circuit in Rio de Janeiro. But since Interlagos has a contract with F1 to hold the Brazilian Grand Prix till 2022, we will stick with the same venue.
How much do Brazilian Grand Prix tickets cost?
Though the event is held annually in the middle of November for the past decade, the dates for the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix are slightly earlier, with the race weekend running from 5-7 November. Below are approximate ticket prices for the different stands for the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Foreigners have very few seats to choose from at the Brazilian Grand Prix as most of the tickets are pre-booked by corporates and private clubs. The cheapest tickets are in Grandstand A bleacher type concrete seats which will cost you USD 270 per head. Seats in the Grandstand B are priced at USD 970 while the cheapest tickets are USD 190 in Grandstand Q.
Tickets for the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Type||Price in USD|
|Premium Paddock Club – Star Lounge (Hospitality)||$4995|
|Interlagos Club (Hospitality)||$2200|
|Orange Tree Club (Hospitality)||$1500|
|Grandstand B (Main Straight)||$970|
|Grandstand M (Main Straight)||$555|
|Grandstand R (Back Straight)||$340|
|Grandstand A (Pit Entry)||$270|
|Grandstand Q (Back Straight)||$190|
- All the Grandstands at Interlagos are covered and have individual seats except A and Q sections. Be warned that no one pays attention to the seat numbers and you just choose the best seat you can get.
- Q and A sections of the grandstands have bleacher type concrete benches.
- The catch fencing at Interlagos is so high that it is difficult to see over the fencing even from elevated seats.
- There is no General Admission at Interlagos and you are not free to walk around the circuit. Your ticket permits you access only to the grandstand area mentioned on it.
- Children below 5 years of age are not allowed to enter the circuit. Those aged between 5 and 12 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.
- Umbrellas are not allowed inside the autodrome. If you are located in an uncovered portion of the stand carry a plastic raincoat with you.
Best Grandstands to view the Brazilian Grand Prix
The José Carlos Pace Autodrome can accommodate 80,000 spectators. Despite the many grandstands at the circuit, most of the tickets are pre-booked by corporate hospitality and private clubs. That leaves only a few tickets for the fans to book.
Most tickets in the grandstands are numbered but be prepared to find some else occupying your seat. The best way to grab a good seat is to survey the stand on Friday or Saturday and arrive early on Sunday and take your chosen seat.
Grandstand A is the largest stand in the autodrome. It begins at the beginning of Turn 14 (Subida Dos Boxes) and extends well past Turn 15 where the track straightens off for the main straight.
Those sitting at the Turn 14 end (Junção end) have a great view of infield action from turn 4 to turn 14. There are likely to be some overtakes on Turn 14 as the drivers set their machines up to tear uphill into the first straight.
The view of the inner circuit on a few seats at the other end is obstructed by the pit building. Fans at this end are likely to see the cars build-up to overtake at Turn 1 although they are unlikely to witness the actual overtaking. However, Grandstand A affords fans the closest ringside view you will get at any circuit in the world.
If you have come to Brazil to have some fun as well as watch some action on the track, Grandstand A is the place to be in. The atmosphere in the stand is festive with fans of all nationalities mixing with the local fans. It is the carnival all over again in Grandstand A.
Though the seats are reasonably priced, the drawback in Grandstand A is that the seats are bleacher style concrete. If you don’t want a sore but at the end of the day make sure you carry a cushion to sit on.
Grandstand R is another good place to watch the Brazilian Grand Prix from. It gives you a perfect view of the downhill track from the Senna ‘S’ (turns 1 & 2) through to Turn three. You can watch the cars accelerating below you as they go along the back straight.
Although a lot of overtaking takes place on Turn 1 and there is no dearth of re-overtaking on turns through Turn 2 to Turn 4 as the cars go down the hill. If you are high up in the stand, you will also get a distant view of the action on the far side of the circuit.
Grandstand B is the perfect place if you are interested in watching the teams prepare for the race. The pit stops garages opposite the stand allow a great view of the hectic activity during the pit stops.
In this stand, you are in a good position to see overtaking as the cars accelerate towards Turn 1 along the main straight. Cars will be racing side by side at more than 300 kph. In Grandstand B you are in a good position to watch the start, the checkered flag at the end of the race and the podium ceremony.
This grandstand has the cheapest seats of all the grandstands in the autodrome. It is located in the first half of the back straight. You will see the cars picking up speed as they turn around Turn 3 (Curva do Sol) and racing towards Turn 4.
Although there is overtaking on Turn 4, you will miss the actual action if you are in Grandstand Q. But that is no cause for disappointment as you get distant views of the other side of the track and can watch the action there.
As the tickets are the cheapest, the Grandstand Q is also lively, with a diverse crowd of foreign nationals and the local fans jovially having fun. If you get a seat at the top of the stand you will able to watch the action on the far side of the track over the fencing.
In this stand, you can watch the start and the cars racing over the main straight towards you, and preparing for overtaking on Turn 1. Although a lot of overtaking takes place on Turn 1, the actual overtaking takes place only after the cars have turned past the turn.
All in all, in Grandstand M you don’t get to see a lot of action and is a disappointing place to be in unless you are on the right extreme of the stand. The tickets priced at $555 are not worth it just to see cars speeding in and braking for Turn 1.
How to get to Interlagos
São Paulo is the biggest city in South America and is well connected with other major cities in the world. The cosmopolitan city has several airports with Guarulhos as the main hub. Congonhas is the second busiest airport in the city while Viracopos is the lesser-known third airport.
No matter where you are starting from, you are sure to get a flight that will suit your budget and schedule to São Paulo. If you have time to spare after the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, you may as well go on to Rio de Janeiro which is just an hour by flight from São Paulo.
There are shuttle buses from the Guarulhos airport that will drop you in downtown São Paulo. You can also take a direct train (Airport Express, no stops) and Connect (with stops) which get you to São Paulo faster.
The traffic around São Paulo is perpetually congested despite the best efforts of the authorities. The best way to get to the autodrome is by the metro. It is both cheap and reliable.
It takes about an hour from down town São Paulo to the metro station closest to the circuit from downtown São Paulo. Autodromo is the station where you alight and it will take you 10-30 minutes’ walk to get to your stand depending on which stand you are booked in.
Each Grand Prix weekend a number of F1 Express shuttle busses leave from down town Sao Paulo to the circuit at Interlagos. These buses are available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Grand Prix weekend. This is a better choice than taking a taxi or driving.
Where to Stay in São Paulo
São Paulo has plenty of accommodation to offer for all budgets and tastes. Staying in the city means you will also get to experience the vibrant, crazy and carefree life the city has to offer. There is a wide choice from hostels and dorm beds to midrange and five-star hotels to choose from.
For the convenience of getting to Interlagos, you will be better off choosing an accommodation close to the metro station. Morumbi, Paulista Avenue, Jardins, Pinheiros and Campo Bela are all neighbourhoods that are located close to the metro station.
Winners of the Brazilian Grand Prix
|1989||Nigel Mansel||Great Britain||Williams-Renault||Jacarepaguá|
|1991||Ayrton Senna||Brazil||McLaren- Ford||Interlagos|
|1992||Nigel Mansel||Great Britain||Williams-Renault||Interlagos|
|1996||Damon Hill||Great Britain||Williams-Renault||Interlagos|
|2001||David Coulthard||Great Britain||McLaren-Mercedes||Interlagos|
|2004||Juan Pablo Montoya||Colombia||Williams-BMW||Interlagos|
|2005||Juan Pablo Montoya||Colombia||McLaren-Mercedes||Interlagos|
|2009||Mark Webber||Australia||Red Bull-Renault||Interlagos|
|2010||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Red Bull-Renault||Interlagos|
|2011||Mark Webber||Australia||Red Bull-Renault||Interlagos|
|2012||Jenson Button||Great Britain||McLaren-Mercedes||Interlagos|
|2013||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Red Bull-Renault||Interlagos|
|2016||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes||Interlagos|
|2018||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes||Interlagos|
|2019||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing- Honda||Interlagos|
Highlights of the Brazilian Grand Prix
- Alain Prost is the most successful driver having won the Brazilian Grand Prix six times between 1982 and 1990. Five of his victories came at the Jacarepaguá circuit while the last one was at Interlagos.
- Micheal Schumacher has won the Brazilian Grand Prix five times all of those victories coming at Interlagos.
- Ferrari has been the most successful team at the Grand Prix winning a total of nine times.
- Brazilian drivers have secured the most number of pole positions in their home Grand Prix.
- Five Brazilian drivers have won the Brazilain Grand Prix since 1973. Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Filipe Massa won twice each while Carlos Pace won once.
- Brazilian driverEmerson Fittipaldi won the first two Brazilian Grands Prix in 1973 and 1974 while his compatriot Carlos Pace won the third in 1975.