The name Interlagos comes from the Portuguese for 'between the lakes' because the circuit was built in a natural bowl which had two small lakes in it. Indeed, they partly dictated the layout of the original 4.496-miletrack which was unusual in that it twisted in on itself.
It was built in 1954 close to Sao Paolo, Ayrton Senna's home city and though it had a winding layout, it had a wide range of corners, some very demanding indeed.
Interlagos hosted the Brazilian GP from the first non-Championship race in 1972 to 1980, with the exception of 1978 when Rio de Janeiro held the race.
In 1980, the first corner, Curva 1, which was one of the great bends on the Formula One calendar, was tightened and then the Brazilian GP went to Rio de Janeiro until 1989.
The race returned to Interlagos in 1990 with a new layout which retained the old section on both sides of the start/finish line. The infield kept the character of the original, but lap distance was shortened from 4.946 miles to 2.687 miles. Naturally, one of the new bends was named 'Senna's'.
Since 1985, the official name of the circuit has been the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in memory of the brilliant Brazilian who, in 1975, scored the only Grand Prix win of his brief career at Interlagos.
Popular with fans, Interlagos is also loved by drivers who consider it challenging due to its various undulations which make it harder to drive and demand more power from the car's engines.
The circuit is also known for its bumpy surface, which takes its toll on the cars due to their low ride height and minimal suspension travel.
Tough on the car, the circuit is also tough on the drivers, especially since the race is run anti-clockwise, where the centrifugal forces in the many hard left turns push the drivers' necks to the right, instead of left as in the majority of circuits on the F1 calendar.
For the 2007 Grand Prix, the most sweeping repair programme of the last 35 years was carried out, mainly to solve the problems with the track surface. The existing asphalt was entirely replaced resulting in a much smoother track surface. At the same time, the pit lane entrance was enhanced to improve safety and a new fixed grand stand added.
Ahead of the 2011 Grand Prix, FIA race director Charlie Whiting detailed several planned upgrades of the circuit, including a new pit entrance and expanded run-off at the final corner, as a response to several fatal accidents at the circuit that same year.
In June 2012, further details of the proposed plans emerged, calling for the construction of a brand new pit building and the relocation of the start line from its current position between Arquibancadas and the Senna 'S' to Reta Oposta.
In July 2013, approval was given for a major overhaul of the circuit's facilities following continued criticism from Bernie Ecclestone. In addition to the new pit and paddock complex, sections of the track are to be "realigned" along with plans for a new media centre, podium, VIP enclosure and FIA control room. The final phase of the overhaul should be ready in time for the 2016 race.
Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA
2016 marked the 44th Brazilian Grand Prix and the 34th to take place at the Autodrómo José Carlos Pace. The first championship F1 race took place at Interlagos in 1973 on a 7.960km circuit that was used in a roughly similar configuration until 1990 when the circuit was shortened to the layout familiar today. The current 4.309km circuit dates back to 2000. The new pit and paddock development has had no impact on the layout of the circuit itself.
Brazil ranks ninth in the list of F1's most visited countries, behind Spain, with 46 grands prix, but ahead of the US, which has hosted 37 F1 championship races (discounting the largely honorific Indianapolis 500 races of the 1950s). Interlagos, meanwhile, is the sport's eighth most-visited track, ahead of the Netherlands' Zandvoort, which has staged 30 races, but behind Germany's Hockenheim, which has hosted 34 GPs.
Aside from Interlagos, just one other venue has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix. Rio's Jacarepagua Circuit staged the race in 1978 and was then the home of the event from 1981 until 1989, with Interlagos taking over again in 1990.
The most successful driver at the Brazilian Grand Prix is Alain Prost, who has won the event six times, in 1982, '84, '85, '87, '88 and 1990. Just one of the Frenchman's wins came at Interlagos, however, in 1990. The most successful driver at Interlagos is Michael Schumacher. The German won here four times, twice for Benetton in 1994-'95 and twice for Ferrari, in 2000 and 2002.
The most successful team at the Brazilian Grand Prix is McLaren, which has 12 event wins, four in Rio (all courtesy of Prost) and eight in São Paulo. The team's first came in 1974 at Interlagos courtesy of local hero Emerson Fittipaldi and the most recent was in 2012, with Jenson Button. Ferrari are next with 10 wins and are tied with McLaren on eight wins at Interlagos.
Three drivers have scored their maiden grand prix wins in Brazil. Carlos Pace took his one and only victory in 1975 for Brabham, René Arnoux took the first of seven career wins in 1980 for Renault and Giancarlo Fisichella won for Jordan in 2003, the first of three career wins for the Italian. All three drivers won at Interlagos.
Three drivers have scored their first career pole positions in Brazil, again all coming at Interlagos. Ronnie Peterson took his at the first event in 1973 for Lotus, James Hunt was on pole in 1976 for McLaren, while more recently Force India's Nico Hulkenberg took his first and so far only pole positon here in 2010.
The race has been won from pole position just five times since the current version of the track was introduced. Both Massa's wins were scored from pole, while the last two events were won from the front of the grid. On any Interlagos circuit configuration Fisichella's 2003 win holds the record for victory from furthest back on the grid - the Italian started in P8.