THE 2014 SAO PAULO / INTERLAGOS FORMULA ONE GRAND PRIX

The Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo hosts the final round of the 2014 Formula One GP season – the 2014 Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The first ever Brazilian Grand Prix race event (1973) was held at this Sao Paulo Interlagos racing circuit, which is situated in the Interlagos suburb of Sao Paolo. At the time, the Interlagos circuit (Autodromo Carlos Pace) was 7.96 kilometres long and set between two lakes, which has since disappeared. The Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi won the inaugural 1973 race in a Lotus. In 1978 the race was moved from Interlagos race circuit to the Jacarepagua circuit near Rio de Janeiro. In 1979 Sao Paulo Interlagos circuit managed to get its race back, but by 1981 however, Rio had retaken the Grand Prix, with the slums of Interlagos being at odds with the glamorous image Formula One racing wanted to portray. After an extensive $15m redevelopment programme during the heyday of Ayrton Senna, a Sao Paulo local, the race finally moved back to the Interlagos circuit in 1990.

Compared to other countries, Brazil has a relatively short history of its involvement in the Formula 1 world championship calendar, although the country has a long and illustrious history of motor racing. Brazil can boast many Formula 1 world champions, such as Emerson Fittipaldi (1972 and 1974), Nelson Piquet (1981, 1983 and 1987) and legendary Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990 and 1991).

The city of Sao Paulo is the country’s most highly industrialised region. Sao Paulo is also Brazil’s centre of finance and trade – and an enormous city, which is said to stretch over 3,200 square kilometres and is home to more than 15 million inhabitants. The city receives the largest number of tourists in Brazil and dictates the fashion, style and culture trends in Brazil. Sao Paulo is a city where you can enjoy local art, excellent restaurants, late-night clubs, museums, parks and theatres, but above all, the unbelievable cultural diversity of its people.

SAO PAULO / INTERLAGOS CIRCUIT INFORMATION

General information

This year, the Formula One circus ends the season at the carnival like atmosphere of Sao Paulo in Brazil. The Autodromo Carlos Pace is situated approximately 30km south of the city centre of Sao Paulo, with its major Guarulhos International Airport, approximately 25km northeast of the city centre.

The Autodromo Carlos Pace Interlagos circuit presents a unique challenge on the Formula One calendar, with its combination of bumps, high altitude, counter-clockwise layout, and long straights mixed with flowing corners. Despite attempts to smooth the track, its defining characteristics are a bumpy surface, a long uphill straight and its undulating flowing corners. A strong engine is rewarded, whilst efficient aerodynamics are a must on this mid to low downforce track. The city of centre of Sao Paulo lies 750 metres above sea level, the racetrack some 50m higher at 800 meters. The low air density causes all engines around an 8 % loss of power.

One of Formula One’s trickiest circuits, where the weather leading into the race, usually conspires to make conditions even trickier.

What the drivers say

The Sao Paulo Interlagos circuit is a physical challenge for the drivers, as it is one of only three anti-clockwise race circuits after Imola and Istanbul. This places different physical pressures on the drivers, as the forces in the corners work on the opposite muscles. As for the racetrack, the bumpy surface causes major vibrations in the car and also influences the set-up, ride heights and grip levels.

Qualifying at the front is very important, as there is a circuit gradient that gets steeper the further down the grid a car qualifies, which can make its start slower. Set up will, as usual, alter between qualifying and for race day. During qualifying the racing cars require a lot of downforce to be quick on the infield, but of course for race day, a high top speed on the straights helps them to overtake, so they use less downforce. But at Interlagos this difference is far greater than at other circuits.

The circuit is also bumpy, which affects reliability and the chassis set up. The teams will run the cars higher here than at most other circuits, but the cars will still leave brown marks from their planks, as they bottom out under load past the pit entrance. The drivers must stay a 100% focused all the time to handle the difficult track surface.

The Autodromo Carlos Pace offers good possibilities for overtaking, with the best opportunity under braking into the first corner. This usually leads some very exciting race encounter

RACING PROGRAM AND EVENT TIMETABLE

Although not yet finalised for 2014, we have included last year’s Formula 1 program, to give you an idea of what the event timetable should look like. Except for the two Friday free practices sessions, which will be extended to two 90 minute sessions for 2014, we do not expect any other major changes from last year’s program..

So please take note that the following program and timetable could change for 2014.

FRIDAY
11h00 – 12h00 Formula 1 Free Practice Session 1
14h00 – 15h00 Formula 1 Free Practice Session 2
15h20 – 15h55 Porsche Cup Practice Session
16h05 – 16h40 Trofeo Maserati Practice Session
16h50 – 17h25 Formula Renault Free Practice Session
SATURDAY
11h00 – 12h00 Formula 1 Free Practice Session 3
14h00 – 15h00 Formula 1 Qualifying Session
15h50 – 16h25 Porsche Cup Qualifying Session
16h40 – 17h15 Trofeo Maserati Qualifying Session
17h30 – 18h05 Formula Renault Qualifying Session
SUNDAY
08h50 – 09h25 Formula Renault Race
09h35 – 10h10 Trofeo Maserati Race
10h20 – 10h55 Porsche Cup Race
12h30 – 13h00 Formula 1 Driver’s Parade
13h30 Formula 1 Grid Formation
14h00 Formula 1 Formula 1 Grand Premio do Brasil (71 laps)