Circuit Name: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
First Grand Prix: 1973
Number of Laps: 71
Circuit Length: 4.309 km
Race Distance: 305.909 km
Lap Record: 1:11.473 - JP Montoya (2004)
The Brazilian Grand Prix provides a fitting end to any Formula 1 season, with the carnival atmosphere at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace meaning the year ends on an even bigger high with the World Championship yet to be decided.
Better known as Interlagos, the circuit, set in the suburbs of Sao Paulo, is underdeveloped compared to most modern-day venues. The pit-buildings are old and small, the paddock is cramped, and the track surface is very bumpy, with every undulation of the ground visible on the track. Yet for all of that, drivers and fans still absolutely love it.
Major resurfacing work in 2009 smoothed the asphalt slightly, but in comparison to plush new venues like Abu Dhabi, the surface is a rumble strip. But that only adds to the charm of a circuit, which makes up for its lack of refinement in bags of character and passion.
In the build up to last year's race FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting said: "What a great circuit and great atmosphere - the fans here are wild and it's always a sell-out, so the atmosphere is always pretty special. It's a pleasure to work here, partly because the circuit is so good and we nearly always get an entertaining race." Well said that man.
Although the race that followed those words of high praise was somewhat disappointing, Interlagos has, in general, provided its fair share of entertaining fare - no more so than in the melodramatic closing seconds of the 2008 season when Lewis Hamilton stole the title from local hero, and race winner, Felipe Massa's grasp going into the final corner.
The long climb up the hill, through a left kink and over the start-finish line leads into a good - if slightly risky - overtaking spot at turn one. If a driver is brave enough to stay on the outside he can try and fight back immediately as the cars twist through the Senna S, so named after Brazilian's legendary three-time champion Ayrton.
Turn four is another overtaking spot and the DRS zone was positioned on the run to this corner in 2011. Turns eight and 12 have also seen passing action in the past.
For the future, however, changes are afoot. Revisions to the pit-lane entry are planned for 2012 in addition to moving back the grandstands through the fast turns 14 and 15 to improve safety. But such is the passionate locals' enthusiasm for racing that they will continue to flock to Interlagos every year whatever the conditions.