Interlagos has long been something of a problem circuit in F1 but FIA President Max Mosley says there is not another race in Brazil that could take its place. In the late 70s the Grand Prix was moved to the more glamorous Rio de Janeiro circuit of...
Interlagos has long been something of a problem circuit in F1 but FIA President Max Mosley says there is not another race in Brazil that could take its place. In the late 70s the Grand Prix was moved to the more glamorous Rio de Janeiro circuit of Jacarepagua but returned to Sao Paulo and Interlagos after extensive work was done.
The old pits were demolished and new garages built along with new sections of track -- but despite this the circuit is renowned for being incredibly bumpy and the cause of many a strained neck. Not only that, poor maintenance and escalating crime rates have contributed to the bad reputation: in 2000 overhead signs fell down, one narrowly missing Frenchman Jean Alesi, both Saubers withdrew from the race with rear wing failures attributed to the uneven track and a stray dog held up Friday practice. Last year crime was rife; Minardi's then team manager Tony Lees was held up at gunpoint, Minardi, Jaguar and Williams were all victims of equipment theft and racegoers are subject to mugging and pickpockets.
Despite all this, Interlagos remains the only viable venue for a South American race. "If we cancelled Brazil there's not another race in South America to take its place." Said Mosley. "We have to adjust our standards to what's available - how much are you prepared to tolerate Interlagos against the importance of having the last available race in South America? When we are a world championship you have to have world events."
Even with its faults, Interlagos is a driver's circuit -- the anti-clockwise track tests the skills to the limit and many would not like to see it removed from the calender. But with countries such as China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and even Turkey being possible future hosts for grands prix, Interlagos' days may well be numbered.