Autódromo José Carlos Pace, also known by its former name Interlagos, is a motorsport circuit located in the city of São Paulo, in the neighborhood of Interlagos, renamed after Carlos Pace, a Brazilian Formula One driver who had died in a 1977 plane crash. It is well known for being the venue of the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix.

Autódromo José Carlos Pace is the current host of the Brazilian Grand Prix and stages a range of other racing events throughout the year. It’s another classic circuit, with sweeping, quick bends and long straights always producing exciting on-track action. Also known by its former name ‘Interlagos’, it’s been the scene of many classic moments in F1, including Senna’s first win on home soil in 1991 and Lewis Hamilton’s late title success in 2008.

Race start is in the “Tribunas” section and features a pretty long straight section, then comes “S do Senna” (“Senna’s S”) [Turns 1 & 2], a series of turns (left then right) that are considered extremely difficult because both of them have a different angle, a different radius, a different length, a different inclination (inward or outward) and a different shape (besides the terrain goes down and then up again).

“Senna’s S” connects with “Curva do Sol” (“Sun Turn”) [3], a round-shaped large-radius left-turn that leads to “Reta Oposta” (“Opposite Straight”, a reference to the disused longer back straight of the pre-1990 circuit, to which it runs parallel), the track’s longest (but not the fastest) straight. Reta Oposta is succeeded by a pair of downhill left turns that are called “Descida do Lago” (“Lake Descent”) [4 & 5] into a short straight sector that climbs up towards the back of the pit buildings.

This is followed by a slow and difficult section, with small, kart-like turns and elevation changes. These turns are “Ferradura” (“Horseshoe”) [6] downhill and right into “Laranjinha” (“Little Orange”) [7], another right (the slowest point of the circuit); then the right-hand Turn 8 leads into “Pinheirinho” (“Small Pine Tree”) [9], left on a plain field; “Bico de Pato” (“Duck Bill”) [10] a right-hand turn complex (first, an easy right kink into the tighter-radius near-hairpin give the distinctive turn its shape and name); and then “Mergulho” (“Dive”) [11], a constant-radius left-hand turn that slings the driver straight into a harder left at “Junção” (“Junction”) [12].

Turn 13, a left up-hill kink, marks the start of the long, thrilling and dangerous top-speed section. Rising up through “Subida dos Boxes” (“Up to the Pits”) [14], the driver encounters a long left turn that sometimes seems straight and sometimes bends in more clearly. As the name implies, Subida dos Boxes is uphill (quite steep, indeed) and demands a lot of power from the cars. At the end of it, Arquibancadas (“Bleachers”) [15] forms the end of what was once called “Cotovelo” (“Elbow”). At this point the track seems inclined inwards (or somewhat crooked) as the cars approach top speed back through the “Tribunas” straight. The series of left turns from the exit of Junção all the way to Turn 1 into Senna’s S is typically taken at full throttle and treated as a long straight. (This section is known as one of the longest full-throttle stretches on the Formula 1 calendar, and thus demanding of the engine’s reliability at sustained high RPM and torque. Other notable stretches of this nature are the “Rettifilo Tribune” straight at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza and the Kemmel Straight at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.)