THE BRAZILIAN GP
THE MAIN EVENT
The penultimate round of the 2018 world championship takes place on the undulating Autódromo José Carlos Pace circuit, located in the heart of São Paulo. The track first hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1973, until the race switched to Rio in the 1980s. A shortened and revamped layout returned to the championship in 1990 and has featured on the calendar ever since.
In altitude terms, this is the second highest track of the season and the climb from the final corner, Junçao, to the braking point for the Senna Esses features a 40 metre incline, which combined with the thin air means it’s a tough circuit for the turbocharged power units.
Teams also have to find the ideal compromise between high levels of downforce for the twisty infield section, while minimising drag for the straight between Turns 3 and 4.
Add into the mix the typically unpredictable Brazilian weather, where rainstorms are commonplace, and this is often a race that throws up surprises.
CLASSIC RACE: 1993
Right from the off, the 1993 Brazilian GP was full of drama. Heading towards Turn 1 at the start, Ferrari’s Gerhard Berger tangled with the Mclaren of Michael Andretti and sent the latter flying through the air.
There was more trouble for Mclaren when Ayrton Senna was given a stop-go penalty for overtaking a backmarker under yellows. It looked as though all hope of victory was gone for the local hero, until there was a sudden tropical downpour. Senna immediately pitted for wets as leader Alain Prost – on slicks – aquaplaned into retirement.
As the track dried, Senna overtook the remaining Williams of Damon Hill to secure his final home win.