Although Nico Hulkenberg has special memories of the Interlagos circuit, it is not a favourite with his new team-mate Carlos Sainz.
Nico Hulkenberg: “It’s very special for me and one of my favourite places and races on the calendar. Sao Paulo is a crazy city and there’s something I really like about it. The food, the people, it’s all really engaging and a highly unique experience.
“The track itself has so much history especially when you cast your mind to all the stories and championships won there. You can feel the history and the emotions that belong to racing and I really like that. It’s a reason why I usually perform quite well there. The circuit is short and can be quite tricky to get right. It’s anti-clockwise, very bumpy and extremely tough on the neck! It’s all about confidence, especially the in-field middle sector.
“I have special memories around Interlagos! My only Formula 1 pole position to date came in my rookie season, which was awesome. I put a perfect lap together at the right time in changing conditions and poled it by over a second; that’s a real standout moment in my entire racing career. In 2012, I led for a large part of the race and was unlucky not to get a podium. I have a decent record there and I will be pushing to make sure I continue that.”
Carlos Sainz: “The track is obviously nice and you can still feel the vibe from Ayrton Senna all around. He’s still very much in people’s hearts, which makes it very special. In actual fact, it’s not a track layout I particularly enjoy, but it’s one of those historical places in Formula 1 where you race. There are a lot of stories in Brazil and lots of championships have been won there. The Brazilian culture is pretty eclectic, and, in terms of food, it’s probably my favourite destination on the calendar.
“I had a good race there last year and it was one of my most complete Grands Prix. I was fifteenth in qualifying – two seconds off the top guys – and suddenly I was racing against them in the rain! We were back alive on race day, we got the strategy right and it paid off. We did a decent job and it was a very enjoyable Sunday capped off with eight points.
“The track is old school and challenging to get right, especially the twisty in-field which features some changes in elevation. The weather usually throws up some surprises; it can be nice and very warm and then it will switch to thunderstorms. The secret is adapting quickly to the weather and finding a well-balanced car which is suited to both wet and dry conditions.”