Interlagos circuit – São Paulo

Officially the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, there’s been a racing track on this land since 1938 . Now more affectionately know as the Interlagos Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit as its situated between 2 lakes. Its first F1 world championship race was in 1973 and its been a firm favourite on the calendar ever since.

Loved by fans and drivers alike, this challenging circuit enjoys amazing track views, atmosphere and plenty of on-track action. Its been the scene of many title deciders due to its date in the closing stages of the race calendar. 

“Interlagos is one of the great ‘classic’ tracks on the calendar, with an incredible history and a long list of famous names that have lifted the trophy. It’s also one of the most dramatic Grands Prix of the year – there are always incidents and action and the weather plays a big part in the outcome.”

Fernando Alonso – F1 Driver

The natural bowl shape of the entire track makes multiple corners visible from multiple grandstands. So you tend to get more on-track action for your ticket price here than many other circuits that are much flatter in elevation profile.

There are a number of overtaking opportunities around the track, with much of the grandstand seating located along the pit straight at the top of the hill before the start finish straight.

There are numerous bus routes that can take you to the circuit. You can also get a taxi or drive to the circuit but parking is severely limited on race weekend.

Almost every race here has been a memorable one with many of them being championship title deciders. Think Lewis Hamilton in 2008 and Jenson Button in 2009. It’s an old school track like those found in Europe, akin to the undulating topography of the Belgium grand Prix and the fast overtaking zones of Silverstone.

Grandstands at the Brazil F1 Grand Prix

Grandstand A

One of the best value grandstands on the F1 calendar, let alone at Interlagos. This massive grandstand offers bleacher style basic seating and runs for much of the track at the top of the hill towards the end of the lap. This grandstand is often referred to as Subida Dos Boxes (pit rise) as it curves and ascends with the track to the pit entrance.

While rows of seats are limited here the grandstand is very long, some 370 metres in length with wide panoramic views of the track in front of you and multiple chances to catch cars on other parts of the track too as they are lower down from this section. 

Cars are at full speed in front of you, screaming up the hill to the start finish line and can often be a place of intense action as drivers fight for position at impressive speeds. Its also been the scene of multiple crashes and incidents over the years. Most recently Max Verstappen spinning and recovering just before the pit entrance and in 2003 a huge crash involving mark webber and Fernando Aonso.

The seating here is simple concrete bleachers, you’ll need to bring something comfortable to sit on like a blow up cushion or at the very least a folder coat. There is no roof here and the weather in November can be unpredictable, with some of the very best Brazilian F1 Grand Prix happening in rainy conditions, so prepare for all weather! Umbrellas are not allowed but you can get plastic ponchos from vendors at the track.

Amenities here are somewhat limited as there is little room for toilets or food stalls behind the grandstand. There are some food and drink options behind this grandstand but you’ll need to top up a prepaid card rather than paying with cash. You can actually buy some refreshments from the vendors walking up and down the grandstand stairs so you don’t even need to leave your seat.

I would recommend seating closer to the pit entrance for best views, the catch fencing here is high so expect all views from all seats to be slightly obscured.

Grandstand B

Situated opposite the pit entrance and some of the pit garages, this grandstand is where the real party is at. A wide high tiered grandstand with a roof, it offers great views in to some of the garages and a lot of the action along the pit straight. With panoramic views of the last corner to your left, down to the tight left hander at turn 1. 

The catch fencing here is higher than at most circuits partly due to the high speed nature of the last corner and pit straight. This can obscure the panoramic view especially at lower seating levels. The grandstand is raised a few metres off the ground which helps with views over the pit wall in to the garages.

One unusual feature of the tickets for this grandstand is that they include food and drink! While not the greatest selection of cuisine, there is a simple finger food buffet of sandwiches and fruit. Drinks include water, juice and from 11am beer too. So expect a passionate crowd and friendly energetic atmosphere here. 

There is a giant screen opposite the track here and with the grandstand so close to the track you’re up close to both the screen and the action.

Seats here are more comfortable than those of grandstand A, expect plastic curved seating on every row, I’d still advise bringing some padding to sit on as race buildup plus race session can be upwards of 3 hours.

The enclosed grandstand, concrete walls and garages opposite create a funnel of noise especially at the start of the race. Coupled with the crowd noise its always loud here so consider bringing earplugs.

Access to the track is simple here as there’s little in the way of entertainment zones at Interlagos due to the circuit being situated right in the middle of a residential area of São Paulo.

Grandstand M

One of the most iconic corners in Formula One, turn 1 is a tight left hand turn down the hill before sweeping in to turns 2 and 3. A high chance of overtaking to be seen here and grandstand M is the best place to view it.

Grandstand M is situated after the start finish line so you’ll see cars heading towards you at high speed before navigating turn 1. The catch fencing here obstructs some of the view down the track so you may not see the cars lined on the grid but will definitely see plenty of action at the first corner.

Sector M is at the top of the hill as the track flows down towards the lake, so seats towards the right of the grandstand will enjoy views down the track with turns 1, 2 and 3 visible to some. If you’re sitting further to the left of the grandstand the pit buildings opposite will obscure some of the view.

Views in to some of the pit garages are great from many of the seats especially higher up. The grandstand is partially raised offering views over the pit wall towards the mid field and back marker team garages. The pit wall stations for each team will obscure the view slightly.

Sector M ticket holders get access to the best food and drink stalls just behind the grandstand with easy gate access in to the site. Toilets are located within the grandstand. Space is limited around the circuit so most of your entertainment will be on track.

Grandstand R

Close to the exist of the fast curve of turn 3 with fantastic views of the first few turns, grandstand 3 is one for the real race fans. The grandstand is a temporary structure with an enclosed roof keeping your seats dry and and the sun off your head. 

This raised grandstand enjoys good views of the track as its raised high above catch fencing. With minimal runoff out of turn 3 its also a grandstand thats situated close to the track for that extra thrill as drivers floor the throttle and head down the back straight. 

The capacity here is limited compared to the much larger neighbouring grandstands so tickets sell out quickly. Turns 1 and 2 are also high action corners so expect to see some epic battles in this area.

With 14 rows of seats in a high tiered format you’ll be guaranteed to get good views whatever you sit, with seats to the left of the grandstand slightly further from the track but closer to the exit of turn 3. 

The pit lane exist is also in front of the grandstand so you’re likely to see close strategic pit stop battles happening right in front of you. The crowds at Interlagos are always passionate and friendly 

One downside to this grandstand is the lack of giant TV opposite. You’ll need to rely on the F1 app on your smartphone for commentary unless you speak Portuguese and understand the commentary on the local public address system.

Access to the grandstand is via zone F. As with all zones at Interlagos your access is restricted to just this area with just a handful of food and drink vendors located behind the grandstand. Be sure to arrive early. 

There are some reports that while seats are allocated they are not policed so keep in mind you may not get the seat you were originally sold. Arrive at the grandstand early if you can.

Grandstand Q 

These are the cheapest seats at the circuits partly because they’re a simple concrete bleacher rather than allocated and comfortable seats. So be sure to bring something to sit on.

The other reason is you’re around the back of the track here on the back straight, a long way from the start line and the main grandstands.

While the seats are cheap you actually get a pretty good view from here thanks to the bowl the circuit is built in.

You’re situated lower down here compared to the corners at the start of the circuit so you’ll be able to see the famous Senna Esses of turns 1 and 2 and the sweeping fast left turn of turn 3, all seen to your left.

By the time the cars reach you they’re at high speed with drivers Workington their overtake strategy braking heavily for turn 4 to your right. So don’t expect much action right in front of you other than screaming cars. 

There’s a giant TV located opposite the track, with the grandstand close to the circuit so viewing is fairly easy. Attendees of grandstand Q tend to stand for much of the action so expect to be on your feet if you want to the best views.

As there’s no allocated seating here there’s generally plenty of room and a chance to change locations for each session. Try lower down the bleachers for practice sessions and higher up for qualifying and race to see more of the opening turns.

Amenities here are limited but there are a variety of food stalls directly behind the grandstand so you easily grab a snack and a drink.

There’s little in the way of entertainment at Interlagos other than track action. You’ll find a limited number of toilets and other amenities within just a few minutes walking distance.

The best grandstand at the Brazil F1 Grand Prix

For the best views of the epic turns 1, 2 and 3 you’ll want tickets for the Grandstand R. You’ll catch all the action from the first few corners plus a panoramic view down the straight to turn 4.The grandstand is also covered so you’ll stay shaded and dry the whole weekend. Perfect!