Our new database page will launch shortly.
Arnoux's first victory
Sao Paulo, January 27th
Few of those who were critical of the decision to hold this year's Brazilian Grand Prix there would deny that Sao Paulo's superb 4.946 mile Interlagos circuit is one of the very best in the world. It winds its way through some fairly mundane surroundings in the Sao Paulo suburbs, but it is a most exacting facility which challenges driving skill with a large number of dauntingly quick corners and tricky sections of circuit. Originally it had been intended to hold the 1980 Brazilian Grand Prix at the "Mickey Mouse" Jacarepagua Autodrome just south of Rio de Janeiro, the unprepossessing venue at which Reutemann drove a Michelin-shod Ferrari to victory two years ago, but financial problems allied to physical decay at that circuit made this impossible.
Thus, a return to Interlagos was instigated a year earlier than originally scheduled even though the FISA had clearly stated, early in 1979, that the circuit should be subjected to a major programme of resurfacing prior to the expected return of Grand Prix cars in 1981. The newly re-constituted Grand Prix Drivers' Association, under the energetic presidency of Jody Scheckter, firmly hazarded the opinion that Interlagos, without a fresh track surface, was unacceptably dangerous and not a legitimate risk that its members should be subjected to. A vocal meeting and press conference, held in Buenos Aires a fortnight earlier, revealed the GPDA to be evenly split down the middle "for" and "against" Interlagos and of course everybody eventually turned out and performed as they almost inevitably always do under these sorts of circumstances. In fairness, however, nobody actually explained just how FISA actually sanctioned the Interlagos event given that they had expressed reservations over the state of the circuit surface not twelve months earlier.