Jacarepagua - The Brazilian F1 circuit you've never heard of
Jacarepagua is a place and a racetrack, officially known as Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet, that doesn't exist anymore. It was built in Rio de Jainero in the 70s, on Barra de Tijuca beach, and in its short life it has hosted ten F1 races, in 1978, and then again from 1981 until 1989.
The first edition of the Rio GP at Jacarepagua was won by Carlos Reutemann at the wheel of a Ferrari V12 312T3 whereas Nigel Mansell won the last race with a Ferrari 640. It was a momentous win for both Ferrari and Formula 1 because turbocharged engines had just been banned and the 640 became the first F1 winning car with a semi-automatic gearbox, built by John Barnard. The circuit also had its fair share of accidents, including one involving French racing driver Philippe Streiff who crashed during pre-season testing at the wheel of his AGS.
Photo by Pascal Richier on Unsplash
It was a big venue, constantly gripped by humidity and surrounded by water. Back then, racing drivers and journalists would usually stay at Intercontinental hotel in Sao Conrado. It was a completely different world, both for the media and the sport itself. Jacarepagua circuit was demolished in 2012 to make way for facilities that have later been used for the 2016 Summer Olympics.