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What makes the Brazilian Grand Prix so special?

Formula 1 fans have been treated to yet another legendary Brazillian Grand Prix as the 2022 season edges closer to its conclusion. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the race, which was first hosted in the country back in 1972.

This special milestone race served up a great spectacle for fans, just as the event in São Paulo does every year.

So, with the F1 calendar expanding and new circuits appearing all the time, you might wonder how this 82-year-old race track continues to serve up epic Grands Prix when new purpose-built venues fail to come close to putting on such a great show.

Image source: Pxhere.com
Image source: Pxhere.com

THE CIRCUIT LAYOUT

The current circuit first made its debut in 1990 and has remained a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar since (2020 was the only exception).

But while the race in Brazil has been calling the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo home for more than three decades, it hasn’t always been the host. For several years, the race was hosted in Rio de Janeiro before being returned to its spiritual home in the 1990s.

When the first Brazilian Grands Prix was run in the 1970s, São Paulo’s Interlagos circuit was chosen as the venue. But the original track was very different from today. It was significantly longer at 7.96km and featured many more corners.

To accommodate the move back to São Paulo, the layout was reduced to just 4.309km to meet modern standards. This shorter distance is achieved by skipping an entire section entirely after creating the twisty S section for turns one, two, and three.

This modified circuit layout lends itself very well to overtaking thanks to its long straights following tight corners. The first corner, in particular, is the site of many position changes throughout each race, such as Hamilton’s move on local boy Rubens Barrichello in 2007.

As you would expect, lots of overtaking are what makes a Formula 1 Grand Prix exciting.

PASSIONATE FANS

In recent years, F1 has begun to expand its reach.

One of the biggest focuses for the sport’s management has been the United States, leading to the creation of the Miami Grand Prix in 2022 and the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will debut next season.

It’s been a raging success for Formula 1, which is enjoying record-breaking viewing figures in the USA.

There’s also been an increase in the number of people placing wagers on Grands Prix and the championship as a whole.

Of course, this has been helped by sites like OddsChecker, which have made it easier for fans to find the best free bet offers to use with F1, but the sheer number of people looking to take part has also increased dramatically.

However, while these new American fans are proving to be engaged in and passionate about the sport, they don’t come close to Brazilians’ passion for Formula 1.

The grandstands are full of cheering crowds who are emotionally connected to their favorite teams and drivers but also knowledgeable about this very technical sport.

This oozes into the television coverage, too, with the crowd’s roars often drowning out the screaming engine notes from the cars, helping to improve the show for the fans watching from home.

On top of that, Samba music, carnival costumes, and weekend-long partying certainly add to the show.

Image source: Pxhere.com
Image source: Pxhere.com

THE WEATHER

Brazil is a country with changeable weather conditions. With the race taking place in its now traditional November slot on the calendar, the chance of rain sits above 50%.

A wet track always spices up the action as it mixes up the playing field and increases jeopardy by making the fine line between glory and a crash wafer thin.

Even when the clouds manage to hold off during the race’s two-hour time slot, the threat of precipitation can be enough to make a race exciting.

It forces teams to second guess what’s going to happen while they’re making their strategic decisions about tire choice and when to pit.

Combine this all together, and it’s easy to see why Brazil creates one of the most exciting weekends of the year for petrolheads.

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