Build up to the Brazilian Grand Prix

Regular readers of this column will be painfully aware that I try to spin every post into an opportunity to describe the relative merits of a driving holiday to whichever Grand prix happens to be up the road. The Brazilian Grand Prix from Interlagos is not going to be one of those Grand Prix.

There are few circuits that feel as iconic as Interlagos, and my definition of ‘iconic’ is that I remember watching it on an embarrassingly small telly while sat on my dad’s knee. Some circuits seem to illicit memories like no other. Monaco falls into this category, and maybe spa, but it is Interlagos that I really remember. Races always seemed to be exciting, they always seemed to be at dusk, and the weather always appeared to be somehow ‘steamy’. Even in modern times there are so many memorable incidents here: Lewis winning his first title, Jenson doing the same, Webber and Alonso’s huge accidents on the main straight, Verstappens epic half-spin save, and Massa in tears on the podium after missing a WDC by the smallest of margins.

One day we will do a trip to the Brazilian Grand Prix, but it won’t be in a car. Nestled on the outskirts of Sao Paolo, Interlagos (or, “between the lakes”) unfortunately suffers from many of the problems that afflict much of the country. Highly populous and with an abundance of poverty, crime is a problem. Over the past few years alone there have multiple incidents of team personnel held-up at gun-point, and in 2010 Jenson Buttons armoured vehicle being attacked by armed robbers, and having to crash into several other cars to escape.

But none of the above should distract from the fact that Brazil is probably the best race on the calendar, and even if there’s no driving holiday to Sao Paolo I still love watching it on my embarrassingly large telly!