Brazilian F1 Grand Prix

17.11.2019 | São Paulo - Autodromo José Carlos Pace

Key Facts

Location: South America.

Area: 8,515,770 sq km (3,287,957 sq miles).

Population: 204,259,812 (2015).

Population Density: 24 per sq km.

Capital: Brasília.

Government: Federal Republic.

Geography: Brazil covers almost half of the South American continent and it is bordered to the north, west and south by all South American countries except Chile and Ecuador; to the east is the Atlantic ocean. The country is topographically relatively flat; at no point do the highlands exceed 3,000m (10,000ft). Over 60% of the country is a plateau; the remainder consists of plains. The River Plate Basin (the confluence of the Paraná and Uruguay rivers, both of which have their sources in Brazil) in the far south is more varied, higher and less heavily forested. North of the Amazon are the Guiana Highlands, partly forested, partly stony desert. The Brazilian Highlands of the interior, between the Amazon and the rivers of the south, form a vast tableland, the Mato Grosso, from which rise mountains in the southwest that form a steep protective barrier from the coast called the Great Escarpment, breached by deeply cut river beds. The population is concentrated in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The city of São Paulo has a population of over 12 million, while over 7 million people live in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Language: The official language is Portuguese, with different regional accents characterising each state. Spanish, English, Italian, French and German are also spoken, particularly in tourist areas. Four linguistic roots survive in the indigenous areas: Gê, Tupi-guarani, Aruak and Karib.

Religion: There is no official religion, but approximately 64% of the population are Roman Catholic, with another 22% Protestant. A number of diverse evangelical cults are also represented, as are animist beliefs (particularly the Afro-Brazilian religion of candomblé).

Time: Brazil spans several time zones:
Eastern Standard Time: GMT - 3 (GMT - 2 from third Sunday in October to third Saturday in March).
Western Standard Time: GMT - 4 (GMT - 3 from third Sunday in October to third Saturday in March).
North East States and East Parà: GMT - 3.
Amapa and West Parà: GMT - 4.
Acre State: GMT - 5.
Fernando de Noronha Archipelago: GMT - 2.

Social Conventions: In informal situations, it is common to kiss women on both cheeks when meeting and taking one's leave, whilst handshaking is customary between men. Frequent offers of coffee and tea are customary when visiting a host; if invited to someone’s home bring a gift. Flowers either before or after your visit will be appreciated, as will small gifts from your country of origin, but avoid the colour purple or black, which are associated with mourning. Time-keeping is loose and fast in Brazil, so whilst punctuality may be expected from visitors, don’t expect it in return – arriving 30 minutes later than scheduled is quite normal and acceptable. In terms of what to wear, casual wear is normal, particularly during hot weather. Brazilians are known for their love of skimpy beachwear (thong bikinis for women and Speedos for men are the norm) but going shirtless anywhere besides the beach is generally frowned upon.

Electricity: Brasília and Recife, 220 volts AC; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 110-120 volts AC. Many larger hotels will have 110-volt and 220-volt outlets. Plugs usually have two or three round pins.

Head of Government: Acting President Michel Temer since 2016.

Head of State: Acting President Michel Temer since 2016.

Recent History: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former shoeshine boy and metal worker, became Brazil's first left-wing president in four decades when he beat his government-backed rival by a wide margin in the 2002 elections. He secured his position as the people's choice with a landslide victory in presidential elections in October 2006. The Lula government has faced a difficult balancing act between social welfare and the economy. Lula's left-wing ideals and commitment to social reforms sparked fears about the future of the Brazilian economy. While the economy slowed it was not the picture of doom that critics painted. At the start of his new term as president, Lula announced a target of 5% growth to be fuelled through tax cuts on investments and ensuring government spending does not grow faster than the economy.

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