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Full Guide to Autódromo José Carlos Pace

Known as "Interlagos" and situated in São Paulo, the physically demanding circuit never fails to produce some of the most exciting racing on the calendar, which is why it is widely enjoyed by fans and drivers alike.
Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 24th, 2012 (F1plus / Gabriel Polychronis).- The Autódromo José Carlos Pace is one of the very few Formula One tracks that run in an anti-clockwise direction. This circuit is very physically demanding on both the cars and the drivers, as the track is formed over many hills and inclines.

The final race on the current Formula One calendar is hosted at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (also known as Interlagos), which is located in the city of São Paulo. The circuit is named after the former Formula One driver – Carlos Pace, who competed in a total of 73 Grands Prix and archived six podium finishes. The Interlagos circuit was the location of his only Grand Prix victory, and shortly after his death (due to an aircraft incident) in 1977, the track was renamed in his honour.

The track possesses 15 turns and is 4.309 kilometres (2.676 miles) in length. The lap record is held by Juan Pablo Montoya with a time of 1:11.473, which was set in 2004.

Here is what the drivers will be experiencing:

Turns One & Two – ‘Senna S’: Turns one and two combined make up what is called ‘Senna S’, due to its ‘S’ like shape. This ‘S’ is in the form of a left-to-right chicane that heaves downhill. The first part of the chicane should be completed in 2nd gear at around 110 km/h. The driver will then sling themselves through the second part with near full throttle force.

Turn Three – ‘Curva do Sol’: ‘Curva do Sol’ is a long sweeping left hand turn, which is situated directly after ‘Senna S’. You can expect the drivers to travel through turn three with full throttle force.

‘Reta Oposta’ & Turn Four – ‘Descida do Lago’: After ‘Curva do Sol’ drivers will drive across the ‘Reta Oposta’ straight, which leads them into the first turn of the second sector, which is ‘Descida do Lago.’ In order to prepare for the left-handed turn four, drivers should brake at around the 75 metre mark and drop down to third gear.

Turn Five – The exit of turn four transforms into a full throttle, left-handed sweeping turn, which positions the driver on a small, slightly inclined straight that ultimately runs into turn six.

Turn Six – ‘Ferradura’, ‘Curva do’, & Turn Seven ‘Laranjinha’: Turn six, ‘Curva do’ and ‘Laranjinha’ essentially form a long, right-handed turn. This particular formation of turns is situated on the peak of a hill. Drivers will apply the brakes approximately 50 metres from turn six. This part of the track is driven in 5th gear and drivers will need to remain on the right side of the track, as the road eventually straightens out into turn 8.

Turn Eight: Turn eight is the first of a series of hairpins. It is a right-handed hairpin, which is usually traversed in 2nd gear. Drivers will attack the curb through the corner in order to gain maximum speed through the exit, which swells down hill into turn nine.

Turn Nine – ‘Pinheirinho: Turn nine is a very long left-handed hairpin, which immediately follows the sharp right-handed hairpin that is turn eight. This turn is typically taken in second gear at approximately 100 km/h. The exit of turn nine ripples uphill into turn ten.

Turn Ten – ‘Bico de Pato’: ‘Bico de Pato’ is the last of the series of hairpins in sector 2. Turn ten is also the slowest turn on the track, with drivers dropping down to speeds of just 80 km/h to complete the right-handed turn.

Turn Eleven – ‘Merguhlo’: ‘Merguhlo’ is a left-handed sweeping turn that undulates downhill. Turn eleven is usually negotiated in the 4th-5th gear.

Turn Twelve – ‘Junção’: ‘Junção’ or ‘Junction’ - in its translated form - is the first turn of sector three. Racers should brake roughly 100 metres from the corner and shift down to second gear in order to prepare for the near 90 degree left-hander.

Turn Fourteen – ‘Subida dos Boxes’ & Turn Fifteen – ‘Arquibancadas’: Following a slight left kink that is technically turn 13, drivers will approach two more slight kinks that make turns fourteen and fifteen. These kinks act as a run on to the main straight.

Autódromo José Carlos Pace "Interlagos".

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