Jenson Button and members of his entourage have been lucky to escape an armed attack on their vehicle transporting them from the Interlagos circuit to their Morumbi-based hotel on Saturday evening, it has emerged.
In a city with one of the highest crime rates in the world, McLaren management had taken the sensible precaution of hiring bulletproof vehicles driven by armed police drivers who had been specially trained in avoidance driving techniques.
It was while travelling to the hotel after a disappointing qualifying session that the car – carrying Button, his father, his manager and his trainer – came under attack by armed individuals.
Thankfully, the police driver reacted swiftly so they could make their escape and return to the hotel, fortunately without injury to anyone.
It is understood that the Sao Paulo authorities will arrange for increased security measures to protect drivers and senior team personnel while in Brazil, but it certainly raises the question of the risks of bringing the sport to such a dangerous location.