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Sau Paulo


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#1 BullHead

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 21:18

In light of the recent storm over security and safety surrounding the Brazilian GP, I would be interested to know of anyones' personal experiences in visiting the event as a tourist, and how it all went / appeared to them? Is it generally ok as long as you don't stray into the wrong areas or stand out like an obvious wealthy tourist? There is talk elsewhere on the board about this, but from a pure travelling / visiting point of view, doe's anyone have any experience?

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#2 F1Annie

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 18:49

I went in 2006 for the first and, so far, only time.

I went with a tour company and it was well organised. There were a couple of excursions & we had the opportunity to pay our respects at Senna's grave.

As you would expect we were bused to & from the circuit & the area around the circuit was quite safe. Even though our hotel was in the city centre, in the evenings our courier offered to show any of us to a reasonably priced restaurant & recommended we stick together & this is what I did.

We were advised to carry a photocopy of our passport & just enough cash for immediate needs & leave all jewellery, watches, credit cards in the hotel safe.

I did some exploring on my own in the daylight & felt quite safe, but I stuck to the main streets.

My biggest complaint about the trip was the circuit itself & how the whole race is organised. You entered your grandstand from the street & once through the gate you couldn't come out, you were stuck there for the rest of the day. Once you were in that was it. Inside the gate there were a couple of merchandise stalls selling not much & somewhere to get a sandwich & a drink & that was it. I found this very frustrating. I've been to most European circuits & I've never not been able to go in & out of my grandstand & come & go as I pleased.

I was terribly disappointed with the view from my (un-numbered seating) grandstand. My 3-day ticket was for opposite the pits & there's so much fencing, it wasn't easy to see the cars. Out of frustration I bought a day ticket for another grandstand for the Saturday (opposite the pit lane exit) & that was a better view but still the same restrictions applied & no opportunity to explore other parts of the track.

At the end of the race we were 'asked' to leave our grandstand & the circuit almost immediately by armed police. (When I think of the times I've walked Spa or the Monza circuit after a race & soaked up the atmosphere...)

Please bear in mind this was just my personal experience & other grandstands may offer better views & you may not be bothered by the restrictions, but I won't be going back in a hurry.