Formula 1 concludes its lone triple-header of the 2023 season this weekend in Brazil with the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Interlagos and the Autódromo José Carlos Pace are a favorite of drivers and fans alike for its unique twisting layout, elevation changes and propensity to deliver memorable and thrilling moments. Just last year, Kevin Magnussen won his maiden pole (albeit, yes, it was aided by weather) and George Russell won his first F1 Grand Prix.
Here’s what to know ahead of Sao Paulo Grand Prix:
Sao Paulo Grand Prix TV/streaming schedule
All times Eastern
10:25-11:30 a.m.: Free practice 1 (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
1:55-3 p.m.: Qualifying (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
9:55-11 a.m.: Sprint Shootout (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
2:25-3:30 p.m.: Sprint (ESPNNews, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
10:30-11:55 a.m.: Pre-race show (ESPNNews, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
11:55 a.m.-2 p.m.: Sao Paulo Grand Prix (ESPN, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
Sao Paulo Grand Prix details
Track: Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos) | 2.677-mile, 15-turn permanent racing facility in Sao Paulo
Race length: 71 laps
Lap record: 1:10.540 (Valtteri Bottas, 2018, Mercedes)
Tire compounds: Hard (C4), Medium (C3), Soft (C2)
2022 winner: George Russell, Mercedes
Final sprint weekend of 2023
In 2021, F1 introduced the Sprint weekend format, which moved traditional qualifying to Friday and put in its place a shortened race that would award minimal points and set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. A few nominal tweaks later, we have our current format for the 2023 season, which effectively makes Saturday more like an exhibition. This weekend marks the sixth and final sprint format weekends of 2023.
Sprint Shootout is here! 🍿
Imagine qualifying, but even quicker. Every lap counts as Saturday’s Sprint Shootout sets the grid for the #F1Sprint
Leaving Sunday’s Grand Prix unaffected 🔒 pic.twitter.com/oTVrJIuLvl
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 25, 2023
The 2023 format ditches the lame-duck Saturday morning practice session in favor of a quicker version of the traditional three-stage knockout qualifying format to set the grid for the sprint race later in the day. The top eight finishers of the sprint will be awarded points in descending order (eight for P1, seven for P2, six for P3, etc.).
Top drivers and best bets for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
Max Verstappen has already broken his own record for wins in a single season and enters Interlagos again a massive favorite according to BetMGM, entering the weekend with a -300 moneyline. The next-best odds belong to Lewis Hamilton at 7-to-1. Lando Norris is the only other driver with 12-to-1 odds or better entering the weekend.
Best odds to win
• Max Verstappen -300
• Lewis Hamilton +700
• Lando Norris +1200
Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg wrote yesterday on the betting market and, in addition to backing Verstappen for the race win, also likes George Russell to finish ahead of Charles Leclerc (-120) and Verstappen and Hamilton to finish in the top two (+165).
2023 F1 drivers’ standings
1. Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPT – 491*
2. Sergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPT – 240
3. Lewis Hamilton (44), Mercedes – 220
4. Carlos Sainz (55), Ferrari – 183
5. Fernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-Mercedes – 183
6. Lando Norris (4), McLaren-Mercedes – 169
7. Charles Leclerc (16), Ferrari – 166
8. George Russell (63), Mercedes – 151
9. Oscar Piastri (81), McLaren-Mercedes – 87
10. Pierre Gasly (10), Alpine-Renault – 56
11. Lance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-Mercedes – 53
12. Esteban Ocon (31), Alpine-Renault – 45
13. Alexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes – 27
14. Valtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari – 10
15. Nico Hülkenberg, (27), Haas-Ferrari – 9
16. Daniel Ricciardo (3), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 6
17. Zhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari – 6
18. Yuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 8
19. Kevin Magnussen (20), Haas-Ferrari – 3
20. Liam Lawson (40), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 2
21. Logan Sargeant (2), Williams-Mercedes – 1
22. Nyck De Vries (21), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 0
* — Clinched world championship
Sao Paulo Grand Prix weather
While race day appears clear there is a 51% chance of rain forecast for qualifying and sprint days, with possible thunderstorms Friday. Wet conditions typically influence Sao Paulo race weekends; even if rain doesn’t fall, teams are monitoring the radar as much as they are the timing screens.