We are less than two weeks until the São Paulo Grand Prix, and this is what you should expect and know about this amazing weekend.
The 2023 Formula 1 season is on its final path, and with that comes the São Paulo Grand Prix. Interlagos held its first round in 1973, and it is known as an old-school circuit, with most of the track is still present nowadays. This makes the race a very special and traditional event.
Each year, the São Paulo GP is receiving more and more public at the bleachers, and it means that more young people are getting interested in Formula 1. The increase in these numbers contributes to some expectations for the event, such as improvements in the organization and great races to watch live.
The races of recent years
Anyone who keeps up with the races or news about Formula One knows that the driver championship is practically decided after the total dominance of Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen this season. The two-time world champion will probably have a third-time win, already in the next sprint race in Qatar, if he scores just three points in the sprint; which makes him come to Brazil already with the title.
Even though the superiority of Red Bull this season may be monotonous for some, Interlagos has been a box of surprises these last years for anyone who is watching it and each year promises to have unexpected results. The racetrack is known for its short laps and low-speed turns, making it easy to lose positions if the drivers get distracted or make any mistakes. This specific characteristic of the circuit turns the races really fast-paced with lots of overtakes that can be seen in all the sectors in Interlagos.
Last year, both of the championships were already decided when Formula 1 raced in Brazil, just like this year, but it was actually considered one of the best weekends of the calendar. The qualifying happened during rain, and we could see a historical pole position from Kevin Magnussen, a driver for Haas – neither he nor the team ever had a pole position.
Both of the races, sprint and the Sunday race had George Russel as its winner, who was in his first year in Mercedes, and with a car that at the beginning of the year no one would believe this achievement. He won his first race here in Brazil with his teammate Lewis Hamilton in a one-two finish.
Categories that will race on the same weekend
It is common that on the same weekend as the São Paulo GP other Brazilian categories have the opportunity to race with Formula 1. This is always an amazing way that the country can show to the public the current importance of motorsport in Brazil, beyond the chance that drivers can perform brilliantly in front of the most well-known drivers of the present times.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is a championship that allows professional and recreational drivers, normally businessmen or people with lots of money, to race in Brazil and Portugal. Regardless of the inspiration in competitions in other countries, the Brazilian cars are all the same, which grants all the drivers to compete in the same conditions and be able to prove themselves in the sport.
It has been a while since the Porsche Cup races on the same weekend as Formula 1, and this is a chance to get more audience for their own championship. According to ESPN Brasil, in 2022, there were over 250 thousand people in Interlagos for the weekend of F1, and this is a way for more people to get interested in other motorsport categories beyond the formula cars. Nevertheless, the cars get less time in the circuit and the conditions of the track end are different, because of the difference of tire rubber compound used.
The BRB Formula 4 Brasil is a junior championship intermediating the kart and the formula cars, created in 2022, which the main goal is to form young drivers to race outside the country; and for the first time ever the category will be racing in the same weekend as Formula 1.
The F4 is still a new championship in worldwide motorsport. It started with the Italian Formula 4 Championship in 2014, and lots of drivers that passed through the category are still making their name in this world and some of them are already in Formula 1, such as George Russel, Lando Norris. For that reason, having the opportunity to race in the same weekend as the F1 drivers is an incomparable feeling for them and each one wants to make their best performances.
The grid is formed by three teams and 14 drivers, and all of them are, until now, confirmed to race at the São Paulo Grand Prix. The championship is really contested with 4 drivers with the chance of becoming the champion, which will make the races with lots of overtakes and maybe changes in the score.
How the music festivals affect the pavement
One of the most commented topics in these last months was the changes at the racetrack of Interlagos caused by The Town, a festival that happened at the beginning of September. It is natural that to receive a festival the size it was, the circuit needed to adapt itself to support thousands of people during the weekends.
The biggest concern was if all the infrastructure would be removed in the period of two months. Until now, all the news is that the changes only brought improvements for the place. Also, all of the equipments will have already been taken apart, and it will not cause any loss to the GP, said Luís Ernesto Morales, engineer responsible for the GP from São Paulo. He is also the president of CBA, “Confederação Brasileira de Automobilismo“.
Some images were released before The Town, showing the changes at the racetrack. It shocked the F1 fans because it seemed that the internal part of the circuit was leveled, and one of the unique characteristics of Interlagos is the different heights in parts of the circuit. However, this change only benefits Interlagos, because before it was used as a parking spot, and where was the equipment of the transmissions of the races, and ended up gaining more area to be used.
Therefore, Interlagos was not affected negatively by the festival and the expectation is that the circuit will be able to receive more public each year and have incredible races.
The article above was edited by Julia Tortoriello.
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