As he nears the end of his maiden season in Formula 1, Stoffel Vandoorne is eagerly anticipating his first outing at one of the sport's most iconic circuits.
“I’m looking forward to tackling another new circuit next weekend in Brazil," said the McLaren driver. "Especially one that is considered so legendary among the fans and the other drivers.
"Interlagos is the place where championships have been won and lost. Classic Grands Prix have taken place, with great names like Senna and Prost winning some of F1’s most famous races."
McLaren has taken 12 victories in Brazil, most recently in 2012. Vandoorne would love to be the one to extend the team's legacy in Sao Paulo, even if the chances appear somewhat sight.
Vandoorne finished out of the points in the last race in Mexico. A 35-place grid penalty for additional power units saw him start on the back row, and he finished in 12th place.
"Qualifying at Interlagos is always important because you never know what can happen in the race," the 25-year-old noted.
"If we can start further up the grid in Brazil – providing we can avoid more penalties – it’ll open up good opportunities in the race.
"It’s important to stay out of trouble and have a clean race. Then we can see what we can do from there," he added. "There’s everything to play for.
“Like every circuit we race on, I put in a lot of preparation with my engineers in the simulator.
"By the time we head out onto the track on Friday morning I feel completely ready to tackle it, and already comfortable with the layout and set-up the circuit requires."
And Vandoorne was also looking forward to drinking in the inimitable atmosphere of Brazil.
"I’m excited to experience the famous atmosphere at Interlagos thanks to the enthusiastic Brazilian fans," he said.