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Brazilian Grand Prix - facts and figures 19 Oct 2007

Race Winner, Ayrton Senna. Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, 24 March 1991. World © Sutton. Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA) Lotus 72D crosses the line to become winner of the first Brazilian GP; cheered on at trackside in traditional manner by Colin Chapman (GBR) Lotus Team Owner. Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, 11 February 1973. World ©  Phipps/Sutton. The podium (L to R): Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA) McLaren, second; Carlos Pace (BRA) Brabham, first and only GP victory; Jochen Mass (GER) McLaren, third place his first podium finish. Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, 26 January 1975. World ©  Phipps/Sutton. (L to R): Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams and Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 24 October 2004 Race winner Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 248 F1 celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 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 and Interlagos, its current venue?

- a Brazilian race was first considered in the early ‘70s in light of Emerson Fittipaldi’s 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.

- 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.

- 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 track’s other stand-out features include its steep start-line straight, its notoriously bumpy surface and its anti-clockwise direction.

- The 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix will see the first three-way championship showdown since 1986, between McLaren team mates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Back in 1986 it was Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost who were fighting it out for the drivers’ crown. Outsider Prost took the honours.

- The most successful driver at the Brazilian Grand Prix is Alain Prost, with six victories between 1982 and 1990. Michael Schumacher 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 eight, whilst Williams have claimed six.

- For 10 of the last 16 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.

- The 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix marked Michael Schumacher’s 250th and final Formula One appearance. Schumacher failed to clinch a 92nd career victory and finished in fourth. The race was won by Schumacher’s Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa, who stormed to victory from pole for Ferrari.

- 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 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix could mark an unfortunate milestone for Honda’s Rubens Barrichello. If he doesn’t finish in the top eight, this season will be the first in his 15-year Formula One career in which he fails to score a world championship point.