Brazilian Grand Prix - facts and figures 18 Oct 2006
The Brazilian race has been a fixture on the calendar for over 30 years, but just how much do you know about its history?
- Interlagos literally translates as between the lakes. In 1938 two local property developers bought a huge plot of land in Sao Paulo, but it soon became clear that the land was too swampy for the large housing development they had planned. A race track was built instead.
- a Brazilian race was first considered in the early 70s in light of Emerson Fittipaldis international success as a driver. Interlagos staged non-championship events in 1971 and 1972, before hosting the inaugural Brazilian Grand Prix in 1973. Fittingly, the race was won by local hero Fittipaldi.
- The 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix was the scene of local driver Carlos Pace's first and only Formula One victory. Following his death in a plane crash in 1977 the circuit was renamed in his honour. Rene Arnoux (1980) and Giancarlo Fisichella (2003) are the only other drivers to score maiden Formula One wins in Brazil.
- Sitting 800 metres above sea level in a natural bowl, Interlagos is one of the toughest circuits on engines. The tracks other stand-out features include its steep start-line straight, its notoriously bumpy surface and its anti-clockwise direction.
- The most successful driver at the Brazilian Grand Prix is Alain Prost, with six victories between 1982 and 1990. Michael Schumacher has won four times, with just one pole position. In contrast, Brazilian great Ayrton Senna claimed six poles at his home Grand Prix, but just two victories - in 1991 and 1993.
- McLaren are by far the most successful team in Brazil with 11 wins. Ferrari are next up with seven, whilst Williams have claimed four.
- For 10 of the last 15 years, the winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix has also won the world championship: Ayrton Senna in 1991, Nigel Mansell in 1992, Michael Schumacher in 1994, 95, 2000 and 2002, Damon Hill in 96, Jacques Villeneuve in 97 and Mika Hakkinen in 98 and 99.
- In 1981, the Brazilian Grand Prix moved from Interlagos to the Jacarepagua circuit near Rio de Janeiro. But during the heyday of renowned Paulista Ayrton Senna, and following a US$15 million redevelopment programme, the race returned to Interlagos in 1990.
- the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix could mark an unfortunate milestone for McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen has finished second at Interlagos for the past three years, but if he (or Pedro de la Rosa) does not take victory on Sunday, the team will complete their first winless season since 1996.
- the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix will mark Michael Schumachers 250th and final Formula One appearance. If he wins, it will be his 92nd career victory. If he wins and Fernando Alonso fails to score, it will also bring him an eighth world title.