THE BRAZILIAN GP
THE MAIN EVENT
The perfect racing circuit consists of a hillside with everything that doesn’t look like a racing circuit cut away. Interlagos fits this brief admirably: set in a natural bowl, this tiny, twisting circuit has hosted some of the most memorable grands prix in recent history.
It’s been helped by three things. First, the weather and the circuit owners’ frankly inept attempts at coping with it. Second, the layout: Interlagos is the antidote to the argument that F1 cars can’t overtake – they can given a decent run at it. The long run up the hill from Junção over the start/finish line, which then plunges into the downhill, off-camber heavy braking zone for the Senna S, is tailormade for exciting Formula 1 – and it never fails to deliver.
Last but not least, since switching to a regular slot at the tail end of the season, Interlagos is where F1 championships are very often decided – and the narrow track, the capricious weather and the huge, raucously enthusiastic crowd make it the perfect venue for that.
CLASSIC RACE: 2012
This race had absolutely everything. Heavy showers, all four tyre compounds in play, and drama and skill by the bucketload. Nico Hülkenberg could have won; Lewis Hamilton could have won; Jenson Button did win.
Seb Vettel was chasing a third title and Fernando Alonso was trying to stop him. Vettel got stuck in the midfield and suffered a collision. Dead last, facing the wrong way, a hole in the sidepod, and a broken radio. Game on. He battled back to P4 and took the title.