Three drivers have never failed to score at Interlagos, Verstappen and Russell are yet to be out-qualified here and three drivers have never failed to reach Q3. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Brazilian Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 LEWIS HAMILTON
Thirteen 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 twice in his career; in 2016 and 2018. He’s taken further podium finishes in 2009, 2014 and 2015 and has qualified on pole here three times, in 2012, 2016 and 2018. Hamilton has started from the front row on six occasions in total. He started from the pit lane in 2017 after crashing out in Q1. That was the second time, after 2009, that Hamilton has been eliminated in Q1 at Interlagos. From his twelve appearances, Hamilton has beaten a team-mate in qualifying six times at the circuit. He has scored points in all of the nine races he’s finished here. His pit-lane start in 2017 saw him gain sixteen places on his way to finishing fourth. It is one of only two times that he’s gained positions from where he started at the circuit – he also gained fourteen positions in 2009. In 2019, he looked set for a podium finish before colliding with Alex Albon. He ultimately finished seventh after receiving a penalty for the incident.
🇫🇮 VALTTERI BOTTAS
Valtteri Bottas has recorded one podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing as runner-up in the 2017 event. Bottas’ career at Interlagos has been bookended by retirements. He failed to finish on his first appearance in 2013 after colliding with future team-mate Lewis Hamilton, while he retired in 2019 with an engine failure. Aside from his podium finish, Bottas has scored a further three times in his seven appearances at the track. 2013 and 2016 are the only seasons that Bottas has failed to qualify in the top five at the circuit. He has taken pole once at the circuit, in 2017. Since then, he has been out-qualified by his team-mate in each of the last two Interlagos races. 2015 is the only occasion that Bottas has finished in a better position than where he has started at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
🇳🇱 MAX VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen took his first Brazilian Grand Prix victory in 2019. He has a 100% points-scoring record at the track, having never finished lower than ninth. In addition to his 2019 victory, Verstappen has a further two podium finishes at Interlagos. He finished third as a result of his memorable drive in the wet in 2016, and finished as runner-up in 2018. Verstappen also holds a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the circuit, and secured his first Brazilian Grand Prix pole position in 2019. It was the first time he has lined up in the top three on the grid here. Verstappen has never failed to out-qualify his team-mate at Interlagos.
🇲🇽 SERGIO PEREZ
Sergio Perez has scored at all of the last four Brazilian Grands Prix. His current Interlagos points-scoring streak began in 2016 with a fourth place finish – his best result so far at the track. From his nine appearances, Perez has scored five times, with a sixth place result in 2013 being his other points-scoring race. The Mexican has retired from the Brazilian race once, in 2012. Despite his high points-scoring rate, Perez has qualified in the top ten at the circuit twice, in 2016 and 2017. His best qualifying result here is sixth, in 2017 – but he moved up to fifth on the final grid. Perez has out-qualified his team-mate at Interlagos in each of the last two races at the track. In his eight finishes, 2015 and 2017 are the only occasions that Perez has failed to finish in a better position than where he started from.
🇦🇺 DANIEL RICCIARDO
Daniel Ricciardo is yet to finish on the podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix. His best finish at Interlagos is fourth place which he scored in 2018. He has scored points on all of his last four appearances at the circuit, and also finished tenth back in 2013. Ricciardo’s only retirement at the circuit came in 2014. In 2019, Ricciardo failed to qualify in the top ten at the Brazilian Grand Prix for the first time since 2012. The Australian has never qualified in the top four here, with a best qualifying result of fifth in 2017. In that season, however, he was demoted to fourteenth on the grid, meaning that his best grid position at the circuit is sixth in 2016. 2019 was the first time that Ricciardo has out-qualified his team-mate for the Brazilian Grand Prix since 2013. Ricciardo has gained at least five positions from where he started in all of the last four races at the track which he has finished.
🇬🇧 LANDO NORRIS
After qualifying in eleventh place, Lando Norris finished eighth in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. Norris previously drove at Interlagos for the first time in 2018, when he appeared in Free Practice 1 with McLaren.
🇩🇪 SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Sebastian Vettel was crowned World Champion at Interlagos in 2012 after finishing sixth in a dramatic season finale. Aside from his DNFs in 2007 and 2019 – the latter a result of colliding with his team-mate – sixth is actually Vettel’s worst finishing position at the track. He has had three victories at Interlagos and a further two podium finishes. 2019 was the first time that Vettel failed to score points at the Brazilian Grand Prix since 2007. Vettel has qualified on pole here twice, but is yet to do so with Ferrari. He’s had six front row starts in total at Interlagos, including three in the last three Brazilian Grands Prix. Vettel has reached Q3 in every race at the track since 2010. He was eliminated in Q1 in 2009 and in Q2 in 2007.
🇨🇦 LANCE STROLL
Lance Stroll is yet to score at the Brazilian Grand Prix and recorded his first non finish at the Interlagos circuit in 2019. His best result here is sixteenth, in 2017. Stroll has never progressed past Q1 at the circuit and has never out-qualified a team-mate at the track. He has a best qualifying result of only seventeenth.
🇪🇸 FERNANDO ALONSO
Fernando Alonso has never won the Brazilian Grand Prix, but he has finished on the podium at Interlagos on eight occasions. His most recent top three finish here was third for Ferrari in 2013. The Spaniard has recorded two retirements at the circuit, in 2001 and 2009, and crashed out in 2003 – though he was classified in third place in that red-flagged race. Of the races which he’s finished at the circuit, his fifteenth place in 2015 and seventeenth in 2018 are the only occasions on which he has failed to score. Similarly, 2015 and 2018 are the only occasions on which he has failed to reach Q3 at the circuit. Alonso has taken pole at Interlagos once, in 2005, which is the only time that he has started on the front row at the track. He has been out-qualified by a team-mate here on four occasions, most recently in 2015 by Jenson Button. Of the races which he has finished at the circuit, 2005 and 2017 are the only years in which he’s completed a race in a worse position than where he started. Alonso has led 18 laps in total at Interlagos, most recently leading two laps of the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.
🇫🇷 ESTEBAN OCON
Esteban Ocon has made three previous appearances at the Brazilian Grand Prix – one with Manor in 2016 and two with Force India in 2017 and 2018. The Frenchman actually recorded his best result here so far with Manor in 2016, finishing twelfth. He recorded the first DNF of his career after a first lap collision in 2017, while he finished a lap down in fourteenth place in 2018. He attracted headlines in 2018 as he attempted to unlap himself by overtaking race leader Max Verstappen. It resulted in the pair making contact, costing Verstappen the victory, and the Red Bull driver having an altercation with Ocon on the weighing scales after the race. Ocon is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at Interlagos. He is also yet to reach Q3 at the circuit, with a best qualifying result of eleventh in 2018, which later became tenth on the final grid.
🇲🇨 CHARLES LECLERC
Charles Leclerc finished seventh on his first Brazilian Grand Prix appearance in 2018, but failed to finish in 2019 following a collision with his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Leclerc has reached Q3 on both appearances at the track, with a best qualifying result of fourth in 2019. He is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the circuit. Ahead of his first Brazilian Grand Prix outing in 2018, Charles Leclerc 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.
🇪🇸 CARLOS SAINZ
Carlos Sainz recorded the first podium finish of his career at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. After a post-race penalty for Lewis Hamilton, Sainz was bumped up to third in the final result. It was an impressive drive, considering he started from the back of the grid after being unable to set a lap time in qualifying. It was only the second time that Sainz has scored at the track, having previously finished sixth with Toro Rosso in 2016. He has retired once in his five Interlagos appearances, in 2015. 2017 is the only season that Sainz has progressed to Q3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He has exited in Q1 in each of the last two Interlagos races. He has never out-qualified a team-mate here.
🇫🇷 PIERRE GASLY
Pierre Gasly recorded the first podium finish of his career at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing as runner-up. He had finished outside the points on both of his previous appearances, with twelfth place in 2017 and thirteenth in 2018. 2017 is the only year that Gasly has failed to reach Q3 at Interlagos. He recorded his best qualifying result so far at the circuit in 2019, with seventh; which later became sixth on the grid. The Frenchman has out-qualified his team-mate in each of the last two Interlagos races.
🇯🇵 YUKI TSUNODA
Yuki Tsunoda has no past experience at the Interlagos circuit.
🇫🇮 KIMI RAIKKONEN
Kimi Raikkonen has won the Brazilian Grand Prix once. That was in 2007, with the result securing his only Drivers’ Championship win. Raikkonen has finished on the podium a further six times at Interlagos, including finishing as runner-up in three consecutive seasons in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Raikkonen has retired three times at the track. He has scored every time that he has finished the race. Raikkonen has never failed to qualify in the top ten at the Interlagos circuit, but has qualified on the front row only once, in 2006.
🇮🇹 ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI
Antonio Giovinazzi recorded the best result of his career so far with fifth place in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. He was out-qualified by his team-mate and was eliminated in Q2 with the thirteenth fastest time. He lined up twelfth on the grid. Prior to joining Alfa Romeo for the 2019 season, he made two previous practice appearances at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He took part in Free Practice 1 with Haas in 2017 and with Sauber in 2018.
🇩🇪 MICK SCHUMACHER
Mick Schumacher has never previously raced at Interlagos.
🇷🇺 NIKITA MAZEPIN
Nikita Mazepin has no past experience at the Interlagos circuit.
🇬🇧 GEORGE RUSSELL
George Russell finished a season-best of twelfth in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. He qualified in eighteenth place, ahead of his team-mate. Russell made his very first appearance at an F1 weekend at this track in 2017, when he participated in Free Practice 1 with Force India.
🇨🇦 NICHOLAS LATIFI
While this will be Nicholas Latifi’s first appearance at the Brazilian Grand Prix, he has had two previous outings at the circuit. He appeared in Free Practice 1 at the circuit in 2018 with Racing Point and carried out the same duties with Williams in 2019.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.