Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about the Interlagos circuit ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix!
Track length: 4.309km
Race length: 305.879km
Circuit opened: 1940
F1 first visited: 1973
Races held: 38
Track Record: 1:07.281, Lewis Hamilton, 2018
Lap Record: 1:10.540, Valtteri Bottas, 2018
Since 1973, 38 F1 races have been held at the Interlagos circuit as a round of the championship. From those 38 races, there have been 24 different winners of the race.
Michael Schumacher has had more victories at the circuit than any other driver, with four, while Ferrari are the team with the most wins at Interlagos, with nine.
German drivers are the most successful here, with nine wins between them.
Mercedes are the most successful engine manufacturer at Interlagos, with a Mercedes-powered car winning here for the tenth time in 2021.
There have been eleven occasions on which a team has recorded a 1-2 finish at Interlagos. It most recently happened in 2016, when Mercedes’ drivers finished first and second for a third consecutive season.
Emerson Fittipaldi, Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Juan Pablo Montoya and Nico Rosberg are the five drivers who have taken back-to-back wins at Interlagos. No driver has taken more than two wins in a row here.
Ferrari, Benetton, Williams, McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes are the six teams who have taken successive victories at Interlagos. No team has taken more than three consecutive wins at the circuit.
From the current grid, there are three previous winners of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have won here the most times from drivers on the current grid, with three wins apiece. Max Verstappen won his first Brazilian Grand Prix in 2019.
The longest streak of different winners at Interlagos came between 1974 and 1992, when there were no repeat winners in all of the nine races held in the period.
The smallest win margin at Interlagos came in 2002, when Michael Schumacher took victory by just 0.588 seconds, while his win here in 1994 was won by over a lap; both the largest win margin seen at the track and the penultimate time a Grand Prix was won by over a lap.
Fourteen races here have been won by less than five seconds, including two in the last four Brazilian Grands Prix.
From the last ten races at Interlagos, the average win margin at the Brazilian Grand Prix is 7.166 seconds.
ON THE PODIUM
47 different drivers have finished on the podium at Interlagos. Michael Schumacher has had more top three finishes here than any other driver, with ten podium appearances. Ferrari lead the way in team appearances on the podium at Interlagos, with 26, while German drivers have had more top three finishes here than any other nation, with 23.
Seven drivers on the 2021 grid have previously finished on the Brazilian Grand Prix podium. Despite never winning here, Fernando Alonso has finished on the podium on eight occasions. Lewis Hamilton has six podiums here, Sebastian Vettel has five, Max Verstappen has four, Valtteri Bottas has two, while Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz have each taken one.
The polesitter has gone on to finish on the podium here on 25 occasions, including in all of the last eight Brazilian Grands Prix.
The furthest back grid slot to score a podium finish here is 20th, which happened in 2019, when Carlos Sainz finished third having started from the back of the grid.
In the last eight races at Interlagos, Pierre Gasly’s podium from sixth on the grid and Carlos Sainz’s podium from 20th on the grid, both in 2020, and Lewis Hamilton’s 2021 win from tenth on the grid are the only podium finishes to have come from outside the top five on the grid.
The 1980 and 2003 Brazilian Grands Prix are the only races at Interlagos where none of the top three qualifiers have finished on the podium.
There have been five races here where all of the top three qualifiers have gone on to finish on the podium, including three times in the last seven races at the track. There have been three occasions – 1979, 2014 and 2015 – where the top three have finished in the order in which they started.
In the 38 races held at Interlagos, 23 different drivers have started from pole position. Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton are all tied as the most successful qualifiers here, with three poles each.
McLaren are the team with the most poles at Interlagos, having set the fastest lap time in qualifying on nine occasions.
Brazilian drivers have had more poles at this event than drivers from any other nation, with home drivers Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Emerson Fittipaldi sharing ten poles for the country.
There are five drivers on the current grid who have previously taken pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton has done so a record-equalling three times so far, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas have each taken pole twice, while Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen have each taken pole position at Interlagos once.
The Sprint Qualifying format was used at the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Friday qualifying but was disqualified due to a DRS infringement. Max Verstappen therefore started from the front of the grid for the sprint event, but Valtteri Bottas secured pole position for the Grand Prix.
James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg are the seven drivers who’ve taken back-to-back poles at the Interlagos circuit. Mika Hakkinen and Felipe Massa share the record for most consecutive poles here; Hakkinen took three in a row between 1998 and 2000 and Massa did the same between 2006 and 2008.
McLaren, Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes are the only teams to have taken successive poles at Interlagos. The record for most consecutive team poles at the track is six, recorded by Williams between 1992 and 1997.
The largest pole margin at Interlagos came in 1992, when Nigel Mansell set the fastest time by 1.191 seconds. It’s the only time pole has been decided by more than a second here. Meanwhile, pole has been decided by less than a tenth of a second on ten occasions, including seven times in the past eleven races. The smallest pole margin was in 2003, when Rubens Barrichello took the fastest time by just 0.011 seconds.
From the last ten Brazilian Grands Prix, the average pole margin in conventional qualifying at Interlagos has been 0.139 seconds.
SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
Sixteen races here have been won from pole, including six of the last eight, while 29 have been won from the front row of the grid. Since 2004, the 2007 and 2021 Brazilian Grands Prix are the only two to have been won from lower than second on the grid.
The polesitter has finished on the podium without winning the race nine times at Interlagos.
The furthest back win at the track came in 2021, when Lewis Hamilton won from tenth on the grid. The previous record was from 2003, when Giancarlo Fisichella won for Jordan from eighth on the grid.
The most drivers to finish all the laps of a Brazilian Grand Prix is 16, which happened in 2016. 1975, 2009 and 2016 are the only races at Interlagos where ten or more drivers have finished on the lead lap.
Twelve of the last twenty Brazilian Grands Prix have featured a Safety Car. The highest number of Safety Car periods in one race at the track is five, which occurred in 2016.
Nine races at Interlagos have been affected by rain.
Michael Schumacher has taken more fastest laps at Interlagos than any other driver. He’s set the Sunday pace on five occasions.
From the 846 cars which have entered a Formula 1 race at the Interlagos circuit, 538 have reached the chequered flag. That gives an overall finish rate of 64%.
The highest number of drivers to finish a race at the track is 23, which happened in 2010. The 1977 Brazilian Grand Prix saw fewer finishers here than at any other Interlagos race. Just seven of the 22 starters reached the chequered flag.
Four races here have been red-flagged. It happened in 1974, 1997, 2003 and 2016, with the latter being red-flagged twice. The 1974 and 2003 Brazilian Grands Prix are the only races at Interlagos which did not run to their scheduled distance.
So far, 2459 racing laps have been completed at the Interlagos circuit.
There have been six occasions on which a World Champion has been crowned at Interlagos, including in five consecutive seasons between 2005 and 2009. Sebastian Vettel is the driver to have been crowned champion most recently at the track, having taken the honours in 2012. The track has also seen the Constructors’ Champions crowned five times, most recently in 2018 when Mercedes won their fifth successive title.
The winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos has gone on to win the title in the same season on fifteen occasions. The polesitter at Interlagos has also won that season’s title on fifteen occasions, though this has happened only four times in the last nineteen races at the circuit.
The leader of the Drivers’ Championship after the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos has gone on to win the title on 26 occasions. Since the race moved to a later slot in the calendar in 2004, Fernando Alonso in 2010 is the only driver to have failed to go on to win the title having led after the Interlagos race.
There have been just eight occasions on which the team leading the Constructors’ Championship after a race at Interlagos have failed to take the championship. In every year since 2006, the leaders of the Constructors’ Championship after the Brazilian Grand Prix have gone on to win the title.
There have been six dead rubber races held at Interlagos. Both titles had already been decided prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2004, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 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.