Verstappen and Norris have never failed to score at Interlagos, Verstappen is 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!
🇳🇱 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 three 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 both 2018 and 2021. Verstappen also holds a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the circuit, and secured his first Brazilian Grand Prix pole position in 2019. He also set the fastest lap time in qualifying last year, but was overtaken by Valtteri Bottas in the sprint race. Verstappen has never failed to out-qualify his team-mate at Interlagos.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has scored at all of the last five 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, which he equalled last season. From his ten appearances, Perez has scored six times. 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 only three times, in 2016, 2017 and 2021. His best qualifying result here is fourth, in 2021. 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.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Fourteen years ago, Lewis Hamilton took his first World Championship victory by finishing fifth in one of the most dramatic F1 races of all time here at Interlagos. The track hasn’t been one of Hamilton’s best: he’s won here only three times in his career; in 2016, 2018 and 2021. 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 thirteen appearances, Hamilton has beaten a team-mate in qualifying six times at the circuit. He has scored points in all of the ten 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 three times that he’s gained positions from where he started at the circuit – he also gained fourteen positions in 2009 and gained positions in both the sprint race and the Grand Prix last season. 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.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell finished a season-best of twelfth in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. He finished thirteenth at Interlagos last year. Russell was out-qualified by his team-mate here last year. He’s yet to qualify above seventeenth at the track. 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.
🇲🇨 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. He recorded his best result to date last year, with fifth place. Leclerc has reached Q3 on all three 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 finished sixth once again last year with Ferrari. Sainz has retired once in his six Interlagos appearances, in 2015. 2017 and 2021 are the only seasons in which Sainz has progressed to Q3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He recorded his best qualifying result at the circuit to date last year with third place. Last year was the first time that Sainz out-qualified his team-mate at the circuit.
🇦🇺 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. Ricciardo recorded his second retirement at the circuit last season. It was the first time he failed to reach the chequered flag at the track since 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
Lando Norris has scored on both previous visits to Interlagos. He finished eighth in 2019 and tenth in 2021. He reached Q3 at the track for the first in 2021 and went on to qualify sixth in Sprint Qualifying. He lined up fifth on the grid. Norris previously drove at Interlagos for the first time in 2018, when he appeared in Free Practice 1 with McLaren.
🇪🇸 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. 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 scored at Interlagos for the first time last season, coming home in eighth place. Ocon had 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 prior to 2021 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 on pace, but finished ahead of Fernando Alonso in Sprint Qualifying last year. He’s yet to reach Q3 here, though he started eighth last year as a result of the sprint race.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly recorded the first podium finish of his career at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing as runner-up. He has a 100% finish rate at the track. He finished outside the points on both of his previous appearances and went on to score for a second time at the circuit with seventh place last year. 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 all of the last three Interlagos races.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda finished fifteenth in the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. He was eliminated in Q2 and finished where he started, in fifteenth.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel was crowned World Champion at Interlagos in 2012 after finishing sixth in a dramatic season finale. Sixth is actually one of Vettel’s worst finishing positions at this track. Adide from his retirements in 2007 and 2019, Vettel’s eleventh place last year marked the first time he finished outside of the points at Interlagos. He has had three victories at Interlagos and a further two podium finishes. Vettel has qualified on pole here twice. He’s had six front row starts in total at Interlagos, including three in the last four 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
From four appearances, Lance Stroll is yet to score at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He has retired on his last two outings at Interlagos. 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. His best qualifying result here is fourteenth, which came as a result of Sprint Qualifying in 2021.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon looked set to take his first podium finish at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix but finished only fourteenth after being tagged by Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages. Albon qualified in sixth place on his first appearance at the circuit.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi finished sixteenth on his first appearance at Interlagos last year. He finished ahead of his team-mate in qualifying, lining up sixteenth on the grid. Latifi 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.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas has recorded two podium finishes at the Brazilian Grand Prix, finishing as runner-up in the 2017 event and third last year. Bottas has recorded two retirements at Interlagos. 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 two podium finishes, 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 twice at the circuit, in 2017 and as a result of Sprint Qualifying last season. 2015 is the only occasion that Bottas has finished in a better position than where he has started at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
This will be Zhou Guanyu’s first appearance at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. He has no past experience at Interlagos.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher finished the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix in eighteenth place. It’s the same position as where he qualified for the event.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen’s best result in Brazil is ninth place, which he has recorded twice – in 2014 and 2018. Those are the only two occasions that he has scored at Interlagos. Magnussen has failed to reach the chequered flag here once in his five appearances, in 2017. On his last appearance here, in 2019, Magnussen reached Q3 for the second time, qualifying in tenth. His best qualifying result at the track is seventh, recorded with McLaren in 2014. Magnussen is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at this track.
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.