Interlagos is well known for being one of the most atmospheric circuits on the Formula One calendar and often the scene of dramatic races. The iconic Senna S provides an overtaking opportunity at the start of the lap as the cars sweep downhill from the pit straight before a long left-handed Turn 3 named Curva do Sol. Another straight follows to the left-handed Turn 4 – again an overtaking chance – before the lap gets busier with the circuit switching back on itself three times as it rises and falls on the hillside overlooking Sao Paulo. As an anti-clockwise track, the final proper corner is Juncao after which drivers accelerate uphill with the fans close on the outside of the track, sweeping left on a long run to the finish line which can be treacherous in the wet.
Scuderia Ferrari has won the Brazilian Grand Prix ten times, with only McLaren scoring more wins since 1973, when the first even was held at Interlagos. Austrian former Formula One driver and a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion Niki Lauda won for the Maranello team back in 1976, while the following two years, Argentine driver Carlos Reutemann took victories on different tracks, Interlagos and Jacarepagua (the circuit was ready to welcome the F1 world and it hosted its first Grand Prix in 1978). Scuderia Ferrari had to wait until the 1989 Formula One season for the next win (Nigel Mansell), followed by Alain Prost’s first place finish one year later.
Seven-time Formula One world chmapion Michael Schumacher won twice for Scuderia Ferrari at Interlagos (2000 and 2002), the same as Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who won in front of his own crowd in 2006 and 2008. Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen scored his only win at Interlagos in 2007, but it was a win to remember as Kimi consequently won the 2007 World Drivers’ Championship. His teammate at that time, Felipe Massa, finished the race second, completing a perfect weekend for the Maranello team.
Nine years have passed since Scuderia Ferrari won the Brazilian Grand Prix last time, as current drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will be looking to put an end to the poor results at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in the Interlagos neighborhood of Sao Paulo, a track which should maximize the potential of the SF70H car next weekend.