For the third and final leg of the American Formula 1 World Championship triathlon, the teams will once again head south to Brazil for the São Paulo Grand Prix and the final sprint weekend of the year. Scuderia Ferrari arrives at the José Carlos Pace Circuit after Charles Leclerc’s third podium finish and Carlos Sainz’s fourth place finish in Mexico City. Thanks to this result, the Spanish pilot moved up to fourth place in the drivers’ standings. The Brazilian circuit is commonly known as Interlagos because it is located between two lakes, built on clay soil, the instability of which contributed to the bumpiness of the track surface.
2023 will mark 50 years since the first Grand Prix held in Brazil, a round of the championship that quickly made a name for itself thanks to the atmosphere and dramatic moments it produced. Just 4.309 kilometers long, the track begins with a gentle climb before hurtling downhill at breakneck speed as the Senna Eses, named after the three-time world champion, dives into a flywheel on the way to the first corner. This section is a good opportunity for overtaking and is followed by Reta oposta, the first straight where DRS can be activated up to turn 4. Here, the cars test the limits of physics and generate massive overload as the drivers try to maintain enough speed on the approach to the very technical second sector, which runs from turns 6 to 11. High downforce is required in this section, on a track with medium to high downforce. The third sector favors a low downforce setting, with the cars again going full throttle. Riders will tackle Junção, a sharp left-hand corner as the track climbs uphill again and DRS is enabled for Subida do Boxes and Arquibancadas, a flat left-hand corner that leads to the home straight. A lap at Interlagos is only about 70 seconds long, but it’s every bit as exciting as many of the longest and most complicated tracks on the calendar.
The final sprint weekend of the year features just one free practice session on Friday, followed by qualifying for Sunday’s 71-lap Grand Prix. Saturday is dedicated entirely to sprints with a morning shootout followed by a 24-lap race (approximately 100 kilometers). The top eight players can get points from 8 to 1.
Friday, November 3
11.30 (15.30 CET) Free training
15.00 (19.00 CET) Qualification
Saturday, November 4
11.00 (15.00 CET) sprint shootout
15.30 (19.30 CET) Sprint (24 laps, 103.356 km)
Sunday, November 5
14.00 (18.00 CET) Saa Grand Prix (71 laps, 305.879 km)
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Leader
“It’s time for the final leg of this American triathlon here in Sao Paulo, which includes the final sprint weekend of the season, the third of the last four Grands Prix. In the last two rounds in Austin and Mexico City we were excellent in qualifying, taking pole position with Charles both times and securing the front row for Ferrari last Sunday. But it was clear in the races that we were still vulnerable to attack. Still, we got two podiums and scored more points than the others who were fighting for second place in the championship. But we’re still 22 points behind at the moment, so it’s not an easy task ahead of us. We can assure you that we are fully committed to showcasing the best in Brazil. Mercedes will certainly be very competitive, but we must continue to focus on our own performance to move forward and be better in all areas, especially tire work and race strategy. Carlos and Charles are very motivated, as is the team on the track and in Maranello. We will fight until the checkered flag in Abu Dhabi.
- Participation in GP: 1071
- Seasons in F1: 74
- Debut: Monaco 1950 (A. Ascari 2nd; R. Sommer 4th; L. Villoresi vv)
- Wins :243 (22.71%)
- Pole positions: 248 (23.15%)
- Fastest laps of the race: 259 (24.18%)
- Total number of podiums: 805 (25.05%)
Ferrari Statistics of the Grand Prix held in Brazil
- Participation in GP: 49 races
- Debut: GP Brazil 1973 (A. Merzario 4th; J. Ickx 5th)
- Wins: 11 (22.45%)
- Pole positions: 7 (14.28%)
- Fastest lap of the race: 8 (16.33%)
- Total podium finishes: 32 (21.77%)
Three questions for…
Marco Civinelli Chassis Mechanical and Operational Design Manager
Describe the characteristics of the Interlagos track.
Interlagos is a historic venue for Formula 1. It is raced counter-clockwise with short straights and several challenging corners, some of which are downhill, and the track is narrower than other more modern circuits. All of this is definitely challenging for pilots who really appreciate it for that very reason. As it is located not far from the ocean, the Grand Prix here are often affected by very changeable weather.
What demands does Interlagos place on the chassis?
The characteristics of the track usually require a medium to high level of downforce, which is given by the short straights, several fast corners and also many slow corners, such as turn 10. The track is also quite bumpy which can affect the set up of the car. This is one of the least critical tracks of the year from a braking point of view, so the air intakes are configured to keep the discs and pads from cooling down too much to keep them at optimum operating temperature. As this is a sprint weekend, the simulation work takes on even greater importance, as there is only one free practice session on Friday morning to confirm preliminary preparations and make any changes.
And what about you? How did you get to Ferrari and what are you most proud of in your work?
Scuderia Ferrari is where I completed my undergraduate engineering studies. After working in design and quality control in road vehicle manufacturing, I was able to start working in motorsport. I spent the first years exclusively in research and development for Formula 1, where I could work on innovations for different areas of the chassis. In recent years, I have focused on coordinating the mechanical design and operations group within the engineering department. Every year, I see the new car being assembled for the first time, it’s first started, and then I see it turn the wheel for the first time before all the Grands Prix of the season, and that’s what drives my enthusiasm for this job. The same passion, attention to detail and the will to win are the elements we work on every day and pass on our experience to the young engineers who join our work group.
Marco Civinelli Chassis Mechanical and Operational Design Manager
Born: 7/6/81 In: Rimini (Emilia-Romagna)
São Paulo Grand Prix: facts and figures
The number of sprint races held in Brazil, including this Saturday, makes Interlagos the circuit that has hosted the most. This weekend’s sprint is the 12th since the format was introduced: two have been held at Spielberg and one at Silverstone, Monza, Imola, Baku, Spa-Francorchamps, Lusail and Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.
Number of time zones in Brazil, the largest South American country. São Paulo is in the time zone of the capital Brasília, which is four hours behind European time. Other time zones are Fernando do Noronho, which covers only a few small islands in the Atlantic Ocean (3 hours from Europe), Amazonia in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondonia and Roraima (5 hours from Europe) and Acre, whose the capital is Rio Branco (six hours difference from Europe, reintroduced in 2013 after a five-year hiatus when it was five hours).
Number of São Paulo-born Formula One drivers out of a total of 31 from Brazil who have participated in at least one Grand Prix. They include world champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna and the first ever Brazilian to race in Formula 1, Chico Landi, who drove a Ferrari 375 in the 1951 Italian Grand Prix. The list also includes the Paulista with the most starts of any of his compatriots – 323 11 wins – for Rubens Barrichello.
Millions of passengers pass through São Paulo’s airport annually, of which there are three: Guarulhos (airport code GRU), known to Brazilians as Cumbica, is the main and second busiest in Latin America, handling 43 million passengers annually. Next is Congonhas (CGH), located just eight kilometers from the center of São Paulo, with 21 million passengers. And finally, there is the Campo de Marte airport, which is used only by private planes and light aircraft.
Estimated number of lance vipers (Bothrops insularis) believed to inhabit the island of Queimada Grande in the state of São Paulo. It is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world and its venom can be fatal in less than an hour. Since the island is 90 kilometers from the mainland, it is clear that a bite from this reptile is impossible. There is a lighthouse on the island that was manned until 1900 and the last lighthouse keeper died from the bite of a snake that entered through a window one night that he unwisely forgot to close.
Source: Scuderia Ferrari
Formula 1 – ROLEX GRANDE PRÊMIO DE SÃO PAULO 3.-5.11.2023