The Formula 1 community will recieve from extra protection and security measures at Interlagos this weekend to avoid a repeat of the violent incidents that marred last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
In 2017, several teams and members suffered armed or violent robbery attempts as they travelled to and from the circuit during the race weekend.
Concerns over the security of personnel even prompted Pirelli to call off its post-race tyre test with McLaren. The situation was considered so grave that speculation emerged that F1 might never return to Sao Paulo.
According to Britain’s The Sun, the FIA has held meetings in Paris with F1’s commercial rights holder and various parties to ensure that additional security measures shall be put in place.
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All week, an armed police presence will line the route to and from the track. However, teams may also bring their own contingent of security to ensure their protection at the event.
“We’ve worked with the prosecutors and the local authorities, the police, and apparently they’ll have a much larger presence,” confirmed Force India team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
“They will be aware of our time coming and going, so the presence (of the police) will be there at the appropriate times.”
Security at Interlagos and in the vicinity of the track has often been called into question in the past, with incidents a common occurrence unfortunately.
In 2010, reigning world champion Jenson Button, accompanied by his father and manager, escaped a terrifying armed attack on his car at a traffic light just after the group had left the circuit on the Saturday evening.
“You hear about it happening over the years but until you are actually involved you don’t know how it feels,” said a shaken Button at the time.
“It’s a pretty scary situation because initially you don’t believe it’s happening.”
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