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Race Preview: Brazilian Grand Prix

After last year’s cancellation due to Covid-19, Brazil is back on the Formula 1 calendar in 2021 with the race held under a new title of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The event is currently held at the historic Interlagos circuit, which has hosted 37 races since the inaugural GP in 1973, with a further 10 taking place at Jacarepagua in Rio de Janeiro.

Originally 8km long, the track was shortened to its current 4.3km layout in 1990 consisting of long, fast outer straights and a more technical infield sector.

Interlagos is the second-highest circuit on the calendar in terms of altitude at 800m above sea level behind Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The tropical climate means rain often plays a part in Brazil with 10 races at least partially impacted by the weather, the most recent coming in 2016.

F1 legend Alain Prost has the record 6 wins for a driver in Brazil, while 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher has the most in Sao Paulo with 4.

McLaren has scored 12 victories, the most for a constructor, but Ferrari has a greater number at Interlagos with 9.

5 Brazilian drivers have won their home race: Emmerson Fittipaldi, Carlos Pace, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Felipe Massa.

The most recent Brazilian GP winner was Max Verstappen in 2019 for Red Bull.

While overtaking is quite easy on the long main straight, 15 races at Interlagos have been won from pole position, including 6 of the past 7.

6 world championships have been decided in Sao Paulo including 5 in a row between 2005-2009 and then again in 2012.