Autodromo José Carlos Pace Circuit


Autodromo José Carlos Pace


  • 71 Laps
  • 1973 First Grand Prix
  • Brazilain Grand Prix Grand Prix
  • 4.309km Circuit Length
  • 305.879 km Race Distance
  • 1:10.540 Valtteri Bottas (2018) Lap Record

Autódromo de Interlagos, or simply Interlagos, is a 4.309 km (2.677 mi) F1 circuit located in São Paulo, Brazil.

The circuit’s name, “Interlagos”, which runs counterclockwise, comes from its location between two large artificial lakes, Guarapiranga and Billings, built in the early 20th century to provide the city with water and electricity. In honour of Formula 1 driver José Carlos Pace, who died in a plane crash in 1977, the circuit was renamed in 1985—a kart circuit named after Ayrton Senna is also attached to the facility.

Interlagos Circuit

First Grand Prix1973 Brazilian Grand Prix
Number of Laps71
Circuit Length4.309km
Race Distance305.879 km
Lap Record1:10.540 Valtteri Bottas (2018)


When was the Interlagos circuit built?

Construction of the circuit, later known as the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace but more popularly referred to as Interlagos, started in 1938. It was first opened on May 12th, 1940.

The visionary team behind this iconic racetrack drew their inspiration from a trio of renowned circuits. These included the historic Brooklands track in the United Kingdom, the famous Roosevelt Raceway in the United States, and the Montlhery circuit in France. This blend of influences from these prominent racing venues helped shape the unique design and character of the Interlagos circuit, contributing to its distinctive features and layout that have become a celebrated part of Formula One history.

When was the first Grand Prix?

Formula One debuted at the Interlagos circuit in 1972, initially as a non-championship event. This inaugural race was won by Argentine driver Carlos Reutemann, marking the beginning of Interlagos’ history in Formula One.

The following year, in 1973, Interlagos hosted its first World Championship Brazilian Grand Prix. The race was won by Emerson Fittipaldi, a local hero from São Paulo and the reigning Formula One World Champion at the time.

Emerson Fittipaldi’s success at Interlagos was not a one-time achievement. He replicated his victory the following year, 1974, showcasing his exceptional skill and deep connection with the track. The legacy of Brazilian drivers winning at their home grand prix continued in 1975, when José Carlos Pace, another local talent, secured his one and only Formula One victory at Interlagos.

When the original Interlagos circuit, started to pose numerous safety concerns the FIA cancelled the race with the last race held there in 1980. Many Formula One drivers, including world champion Jody Scheckter, protested against the circuit due to its bumpy surface, inadequate barriers, and deep ditches and embankments. It was at a time when ground-effect cars of 1980 were designed in a way that made bumpy surfaces almost undrivable. These issues prompted Formula One to relocate to Rio de Janeiro’s Jacarepaguá circuit, which hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1978 and was the hometown of Nelson Piquet.

In 1990, Formula One returned to the shortened and modified Interlagos circuit, which has remained largely unchanged except for the extension of the pit exit along the “Curva do Sol”. Ayrton Senna, a São Paulo local, played a crucial role in bringing Formula One back to Interlagos, where it has stayed since.

Interlagos lap record

The official lap record for the current F1 Grand Prix circuit layout is 1:10.540, set by Valtteri Bottas during the 2018 Mexico City Grand Prix driving for Mercedes.