Top 5 Iconic Moments from the Brazilian Grand Prix

Published 11/01/2023, 8:05 AM EDT

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Every race, every track, and every country has incredible stories to tell in this traveling circus. However, some have more to tell than others and Brazil is among those. As we head to the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix, let us take a trip down memory lane and recall all the incredible moments the track has experienced so far. 

In this piece, we would like to highlight the top 5 iconic moments the fans have experienced at Interlagos over the years. Let’s start with the homeland hero Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna wins the Brazilian Grand Prix for the first time in his career 


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One cannot talk about Brazil and not mention Ayrton Senna in this world of Formula 1. Senna is arguably the biggest star Brazil has ever produced. Even though the Brazilian messiah won only three championships, far less than what he was capable of, he is and will always be remembered as one of the greatest. 

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However, despite winning two championships in 1988 and 1990 and 26 races, Senna was still missing the trophy from the Brazilian Grand Prix in his collection. Every driver dreams of winning a race in front of his home crowd and we can assure you, so did Senna. However, the Brazilian legend’s wait ended in 1991, but it did not come without its challenges. The Brazilian maestro had to grad his McLaren to the finish line stuck in 6th gear to break the duck. By hook or by crook, Senna won at home.


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Remembering 10 Fascinating Facts About Legendary F1 Champion Ayrton Senna

Now let’s up the stakes and look at some dramatic and emotionally charged events at Interlagos. 

Kimi Raikkonen wins his Drivers’ Championship in Brazil

Starting in chronological order, first, we have the Iceman Kimi Raikkonen. The last Ferrari driver to win a driver’s championship, Raikkonen clinched the highly competitive championship with one point ahead of the two then-McLaren men, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. The Finnish driver recovered a 17-point deficit with just two races to go and he completed the turnaround right at the very end in Brazil. 

Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic last-lap antics to win the 2008 driver’s championship

Adding another dramatic last-race championship to its storied history, Interlagos also witnessed Lewis Hamilton clinch his first F1 title in 2008. The Brit in his second season had to fight tooth and nail with Felipe Masa, who still believes the title belongs to him, until the penultimate race in Brazil. However, Hamilton’s last-lap, last-corner overtake on Timo Glock earned him enough points for the championship.

Sebastian Vettel’s first lap spin recovery at Interlagos


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Hamilton’s friend Sebastian Vettel also has a similar memory attached to Interlagos. The German was well on course to winning his third championship in a row with a  13-point lead ahead of Ferrari man Alonso. However, in the penultimate race, the 2012 Brazilian GP served him a task as he was spun at turn 4 of the opening lap. Without picking up much damage, Vettel made his way through the field all the way to 6th earning him enough points to fend off Alonso who could only manage P2. 

Lewis Hamilton showcases his brilliance at the 2021 Brazilian GP

Hamilton put in another masterclass in Brazil during the 2021 edition of the race where he started from dead last and won the race in two segments. The P5 in the sprint race from P20, when it was considered qualifying, and he won the main race from P10 with a 5-place grid penalty. The Brit effectively overtook the entire grid, at least once in his Mercedes W12. 


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Such an incredibly rich history associated with one track, Interlagos. We are excited to see how this weekend adds to it.


Written by:

Mahim Suhalka


One take at a time

Mahim Suhalka is a senior F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having written over 1,000 articles, Mahim specializes in core sports coverage. Having followed the sport for a long time, his articles contain excellent analysis as he dives deeper into the technicalities of this complex sport.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare