2014 Brazil Grand Prix - Accommodation for the Brazil Grand Prix

The big race in the big city of Sao Paulo
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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

Brazil Grand PrixSao Paulo is the place to be this year. Or one of the places, at least. With the World Cup dominating the summer of 2014, Brazil's largest city is set to enjoy an influx of visitors, swelling its numbers to over 11.5 million. The fun doesn't stop when the final ball is kicked however – the city boasts an eclectic series of carnivals and music festivals throughout the year. What's more, there'll be another sporting highlight to enjoy in early November when the F1 Grand Prix roars into town.

Brazilians relish their racing, and have enjoyed a lingering love affair with F1 since the days when Ayrton Senna was setting record lap times across the world. Despite his untimely death in the 1994 San Marino GP, the Brazilian held the record for the most pole positions until 2006. For the 2014 GP, Sao Paulo's devoted fans will be searching for a new hero to cheer on. Why not join them at Autódromo José Carlos Pace for a weekend of racing mayhem this November?


Fast and furious in Sao Paulo


The F1 circuit at Sao Paulo The F1 circuit at Sao Paulo

While officially known as Autódromo José Carlos Pace, the Sao Paulo circuit is often referred to by its older, more succinct name: Interlagos. Its origins can be traced back to 1938, when local property developers purchased land with the intention of building houses. Upon discovering that their acquisition wasn't suitable for its intended purpose, the enterprising duo decided to build a race circuit instead. Interlagos has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix since the '70s, with local racers including Carlos Pace winning there during that golden period. Pace tragically died in a plane crash in 1977, whereupon Interlagos was renamed in his honour. Today, the anti-clockwise circuit is full of bumps, long straights and gentle corners, providing an exciting climax to the 2014 Grand Prix.

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Schedule for the F1 Brazil Grand Prix Schedule for the F1 Brazil Grand Prix

Qualifying on the 4.3km circuit is scheduled to start at 2pm on Saturday 8th November 2014. The day prior to that, two practice sessions will be held at 10am and 2pm. There's also a third practice session scheduled for 11am on the Saturday morning. Then, on Sunday 9th, it's race day: at 2pm the F1 drivers will attempt 71 laps of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace circuit in what will be the penultimate race of the season. Titles have been won and lost here; whatever the outcome, the Brazilian GP promises to be a cracker.

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Ticketing and race information for the F1 Brazil Grand Prix Ticketing and race information for the F1 Brazil Grand Prix

Tickets aren't yet on sale for the Brazilian GP, but you can register with the official F1 website to receive notification as soon as they become available. The best action can be found close to the pit lane, which is one of the longest in Formula One. The Interlagos circuit is notorious for wrecking cars, with its bumpy asphalt and inclines testing engines and drivers to the limit. Moreover, because the circuit runs anti-clockwise, the drivers are unaccustomed to the centrifugal forces that are exerted. This makes the race a gruelling affair, with the podium finish typically going to the trio blessed with the tenacity to go the distance.

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2014 Brazil Grand Prix: the city of Sao Paulo 2014 Brazil Grand Prix: the city of Sao Paulo

Whatever way you slice the numbers, Sao Paulo is a vast city – one whose sheer sense of scale can be overwhelming. 20 million people live within greater Sao Paulo, half of them in the city itself. Its other notable numbers include 12,500 restaurants and over 150 museums and cultural centres. Add in 400 theatres and 15,000 bars and it's fair to say you won't be completing Sao Paulo in a weekend. Your best bet is to pick an area and get to work, drinking, eating and partying in this swarming, cosmopolitan city. During your stay, be sure to start the day with a strong Brazilian coffee: it'll clear the cobwebs from the night before and put a spring in your step. Café Floresta is one of Sao Paulo's most popular spots, where the cafezinhos are served in tall glasses with plenty of sugar.

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2014 Brazil Grand Prix: attractions in Sao Paulo 2014 Brazil Grand Prix: attractions in Sao Paulo

The best way to catch a snapshot of what Sao Paulo has to offer – literally and metaphorically – is by ascending Banespa, a 161-metre skyscraper where the elevator ride to the observation deck is well worth waiting in line for. While new Sao Paulo impresses, old Sao Paulo enchants, with Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis an undisputed highlight. The 17th-century cathedral epitomises colonial design at its finest, with all the pomp and grandeur of Portuguese baroque. Less venerable but every bit as essential is Parque do Ibirapuera, a leafy park that has space for several museums and performance space, providing welcome respite from the intensity of the city.

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