The Autódromo José Carlos Pace circuit in São Paulo, Brazil has hosted many memorable moments in Formula One history. The weather has often played a part in one or two championship decider races. Take a look back at some classic races.
Williams-Renault drive Alain Prost led a 1-2 in Qualifying ahead of teammate Damon Hill followed by the McLaren-Ford of Ayrton Senna. Benetton-Ford driver Michael Schumacher started in 4th.
Prost led from the start as Senna overtook Hill for 2nd. On lap 25, Senna was issued with a 10 second stop-go penalty for overtaking a backmarker under yellow flags and dropped behind Schumacher. Rain started to pour with Hill and Senna pitting to the wet tyre. Prost stayed out and lost control, hitting Christian Fittipaldi’s car. The Safety Car came out with Hill ahead of Senna and Schumacher.
The rain stopped and the drivers pitted to switch to the dry tyres. Senna passed Hill for the lead. Behind Schumacher and Jean Alesi served their stop-go penalties. Schumacher overtook Mark Blundell and Johnny Herbert for the last podium position.
Senna celebrated his first win of the season and the 100th win for McLaren. 5 time champion, Juan Manuel Fangio was also present congratulating Senna. Senna took a 6 point lead in the championship over Prost.
Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher qualified on pole position ahead Williams driver Ralf Schumacher. McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen, Williams Juan Pablo Montoya and the other McLaren of David Coulthard rounded out the top 5.
Schumacher led from pole as Hakkinen stalled on the grid. The Safety Car came out and racing resumed on lap 3 where Montoya overtook Schumacher for the lead into turn 1. Behind Rubens Barrichello hit the rear of Ralf Schumacher. Lap 39, Montoya lapped Jos Verstappen until the Dutchman rammed the Williams driver out of the race.
The race began to fall. Schumacher pitted with Coulthard staying out. The race looked to be lost for Coulthard until Schumacher spun. Coulthard caught up and overtook the Ferrari driver into turn 1. Coulthard won with Schumacher a distant 2nd after spinning again. Nick Heidfeld took 3rd in Sauber’s first podium since 1998.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa qualified on pole position ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Championship leader, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton qualified in 4th with teammate Heikki Kovalainen in 5th.
Before the start, rain fell, delaying the start and insuring drivers switched to the wet tyre. Massa started well as Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard tangled. Coulthard retired in his 246 race after 15 years in F1. Conditions improved with most pitting to the dry tyre. Hamilton dropped down the order but continued to fight on, overtaking Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella to move back up into 5th.
Rain returned with Hamilton diving into the pits with race leader Massa a lap later onto the wet tyre. Crucially, Trulli and team-mate Timo Glock stayed out on dry tyres. Sebastian Vettel overtook Hamilton and put him outside of the position he needed to win the championship.
Meanwhile, Massa went onto win with Fernando Alonso and Raikkonen rounding out the podium. The rain fell harder and Hamilton overtook Glock for 5th place on the last corner on the last lap. Hamilton won the first of his now 4 championships by a single point over Massa.