Paddock gossip from Brazil - Part I
Nasty shock for Jenson Button: The reigning world champion was threatened by a group of locals armed with baseball bats and guns on the way back from the circuit to his hotel. His driver managed to speed away and no-one was harmed. Dangerous place, Sao Paulo!
Sometimes, Formula One seems to inhabit a sort of cocoon. Following the attempted carjacking on Jenson Button as he travelled between the circuit and his hotel, the 2009 champion was asked whether it might not have been better to use a less high-profile vehicle. "It's not possible to have more of an understatement than a Mercedes 200B," he replied. "It would be hard to sink any lower." In view of all the poverty in Brazil, not exactly the most tactful of statements...
When he was still working for Ferrari, Ross Brawn decided on impulse to take a sabbatical year. In answer to the question whether he would consider doing the same again, Brawn replied with a broad grin: "Only when we've won five world championships." At which point, Norbert Haug interjected: "No, six."
Williams don't seem to have grasped what PR work actually involves. Although the team are desperately looking for extra sources of funding and are even considering replacing Nico Hülkenberg with a pay driver, they still called off Hulk's German-language press conference. The reason being that he had already performed his press conference duties for the day.
Rubens Barrichello was wearing a very special T-shirt at Interlagos. It was designed by his nine-year-old son Eduardo to incorporate the team name Williams into the Brazilian flag with his father's nickname Rubito underneath.