Two drivers have never failed to reach Q3 at Interlagos, two have never been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at the track and four drivers have completed every race they’ve appeared in here. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Brazilian Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Ten years ago, Lewis Hamilton took his first World Championship victory by finishing fifth in one of the most dramatic races of all time here at Interlagos. The track hasn’t been one of Hamilton’s best, he’s won here only once in his career; in 2016. He’s taken podium finishes in 2009, 2014 and 2015. He’s qualified on pole here twice, in 2012 and 2016 and has started from the front row on five occasions. Last season, he recorded his worst qualifying at the track, finishing twentieth after crashing out in Q1. It was the second time, after 2009, where Hamilton has been eliminated in Q1 at Interlagos. From his eleven appearances, Hamilton has beaten a team-mate in Qualifying five times at the circuit. He has scored points in all of the nine races he’s finished here. His pit-lane start last year saw him gain sixteen places on his way to finishing fourth – the highest number of positions gained by a current driver in a Brazilian Grand Prix.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas took his first Brazilian Grand Prix podium finish last season. After qualifying on pole, he finished as runner-up. The Finn has finished every race here except in 2013 and has scored points in three of the four Interlagos races since then. 2014 is the only season where Bottas has been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at the circuit, while 2013 and 2016 are the only years where he’s failed to reach Q3.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel was crowned World Champion at Interlagos in 2012 after finishing sixth in a dramatic season finale. Aside from his DNF here in 2007, sixth is actually Vettel’s worst finishing position at the track. He’s had three victories here and a further two podium finishes. He’s scored points at the Brazilian Grand Prix in every season since 2008. Vettel has qualified on pole here twice, but is yet to do so with Ferrari. He’s had four front row starts in total at Interlagos. Vettel has reached Q3 in every season here since 2010. He was eliminated in Q1 in 2009 and in Q2 in 2007. The German hasn’t lost a position from his starting slot in a race at this track since 2012.
🇫🇮 Kimi Raikkonen
Last year, Kimi Raikkonen recorded his first Brazilian Grand Prix podium finish since 2008. From his fourteen appearances at the Interlagos circuit, the Finn has retired three times but has scored points every time he has finished a race at the track. His only win so far here came in 2007 – a result which saw him crowned World Champion. Raikkonen has never taken pole here, and 2006 is the only time where he has started from the front row of the grid. He’s beaten his team-mate in qualifying just once in the past four seasons. Raikkonen has a 100% Q3 appearance record at the track.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo is yet to beat a team-mate in qualifying at the Interlagos circuit during his time at Red Bull. He’s also yet to record a top five finish here, with a best result of sixth last season. Fifth is his best qualifying result, from last year, but a grid penalty dropped him down the order. His best grid slot here, therefore, is sixth from 2016. Ricciardo has reached Q3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix in every season since 2013.
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen is one of just two drivers on the current grid to have never failed to score at the Brazilian Grand Prix. His best result came in 2016, where a memorable drive in the rain-hit race secured him a podium finish. Verstappen has qualified in fourth for the past two seasons here and has never been beaten by a team-mate on a Saturday in Sao Paulo. He’s also never failed to reach Q3 on all three of his appearances at Interlagos. Verstappen has set the fastest lap of the race at each of the last two Brazilian Grands Prix.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
From his seven Brazilian Grand Prix appearances, Sergio Perez has scored points three times; including in both of the last two seasons. He’s recorded just one retirement here, in 2012. Last season, Perez recorded his best qualifying so far at Interlagos with sixth. He moved up to fifth on the grid as a result of Daniel Ricciardo’s grid penalty. The Mexican hasn’t beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the track since 2013, but he has reached Q3 in each of the last two seasons.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon is yet to reach Q3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He’s also yet to score a point at the track, having recorded his first DNF in F1 here last season and having finished twelfth for Manor in 2016. Last season was the first time the Frenchman has beaten a team-mate in Qualifying at the circuit.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
In his only Brazilian Grand Prix appearance so far, Lance Stroll finished sixteenth for Williams in 2017. After failing to beat his team-mate in qualifying and exiting in Q1, the Canadian finished the race where he started it.
🇷🇺 Sergey Sirotkin
Sergey Sirotkin participated in Free Practice with the Renault team at Interlagos in 2016.
🇩🇪 Nico Hulkenberg
Interlagos is the only track at which Nico Hulkenberg has taken pole, having done so with Williams in 2010. He boasts an impressive record here. The German has never failed to finish a race at the track, he’s never failed to score points here, has never been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying here and has only missed out on Q3 once (in 2014). His best finishing position at the track is twelfth in 2012; a race which he led for some time.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
2016 is the only time Carlos Sainz has scored points at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with a sixth place finish. Other than that, he has retired from the race once, in 2015, and finished eleventh last season. He’s yet to beat a team-mate in qualifying at the track. Last season marked the first time the Spaniard reached Q3 here, qualifying in ninth and lining up eighth on the grid.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
On his first Brazilian Grand Prix appearance last year, Pierre Gasly finished twelfth having started from nineteenth. He was beaten by his team-mate in qualifying, having been eliminated in Q1.
🇳🇿 Brendon Hartley
After reaching Q2 and out-qualifying his team-mate, Brendon Hartley had a disappointing end to the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix. He retired after forty laps with engine troubles.
🇫🇷 Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has scored points at the Brazilian Grand Prix only once, with eighth place in 2015. The Frenchman had three consecutive DNFs at the circuit between 2012 and 2014, and failed to start the race in 2016 after crashing on his way to the grid. Grosjean’s best qualifying here came in 2013, when he lined up sixth on the grid. He’s beaten his team-mate on Saturday here in every year since then. 2015 is the only occasion where Grosjean has gained a position from his starting place during a race at Interlagos.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Like his team-mate, Kevin Magnussen has only one points-scoring appearance at the Brazilian Grand Prix. That came in 2014, when he finished ninth for McLaren. Since then, he has finished fourteenth for Renault in 2016 and retired on his first appearance at the track with Haas last year. Magnussen hasn’t reached Q3 here since his debut season, in which he qualified seventh. He’s yet to beat a team-mate in qualifying in Sao Paulo.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Aside from his DNFs in 2001 and 2009, up until 2014 Fernando Alonso had never finished below fourth at Interlagos. Since then, he’s scored points in all but one race (in 2015, when he finished fifteenth). Alonso has never won here despite taking eight podium finishes, and only took pole once in his career at this track, in 2005. That was also his only front-row start here. From his sixteen appearances, there have been just four occasions where Alonso has been out-qualified by a team-mate at Interlagos. 2015 is the only season where the Spaniard failed to reach Q3 here.
🇧🇪 Stoffel Vandoorne
Stoffel Vandoorne is yet to finish a Brazilian Grand Prix, having retired on his first appearance at the event in 2017. He qualified in thirteenth and moved up one place on the grid thanks to a grid penalty for Daniel Ricciardo. The Belgian was eliminated on the first lap following a multi-car collision.
🇸🇪 Marcus Ericsson
From his three appearances at Interlagos, Marcus Ericsson has made it out of Q1 once, in 2015. He’s yet to score a point at the track, with a best finish of thirteenth last season. 2016 is the only season where Ericsson beat his team-mate in Qualifying at the track. Interlagos is another track at which the Swede has never started the race from the position in which he qualified. His best qualifying performance came in 2015, with fourteenth. He lined up twelfth on the grid for that race.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc has had two previous Free Practice outings at the Interlagos circuit. He drove for Haas in FP1 in 2016 and drove for Sauber during the Friday session in 2017.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.