I feel the need….the need for speed!! Formula 1 Grand Prix race at Interlagos racetrack was sure to be one of the highlights of my trip to São Paulo but the rain had its way today instead. Fingers numb, body shaking from the wetness and the cold, clothes drenched and my backpack and I sitting on wet concrete with only a trash bag as a seat cover or standing amongst the thousands in the rain on my tippy toes, I still felt the raw exhilarating power of the roar of the engines and the wheels spinning so fast the race cars were spraying me and the other spectators as they flew past us at speeds upwards of 200km/hr. The danger of course increases due to rain and the race was red flag suspended several times as many of the F1 cars aquaplaned including one which spun out of control in circles stopping facing 90 degrees towards the wall as the other drivers turned the corner driving high on the track in order to miss him. Hamilton was out front from beginning to end and missed all those messes behind him that the other drivers were dealing with to capture the number one spot on the podium. All in all it was definitely an experience that I will have to try again but next time on a warm sunny day and perhaps next time I will include a trip to the pit where a lot of the action takes place.
I did learn a number of things though such as umbrellas, go pro sticks, selfie sticks and anything else that even remotely looks like or could be used as a weapon will prevent your entry into the racetrack. You must find (in English) the regulations for heading out to any sporting event but these guys took it to the next level completely barring my entry but unable to explain why in any other language but Portugese which I don’t speak or understand despite its similarities to Spanish. All is well that ends well though as I crossed the street and met young Marcio a member of São Paulo’s police force and his kind colleagues who walked me back across the street and were able to talk to the gate guy and explain the rules in English and ultimately agreed to hold on to my things for me so I could see the race. This is not a service they provide of course but I think they felt sorry for me given the fact I traveled all the way from Texas to see the race! They said, however, that it was because I have “good person” written all on my face. Whatever the reason for the special treatment I was utterly grateful.
I also learned what an incredible turn on it is to hear that sound when they are hauling past you and I do recommend that everyone experience that turn on at least once in your lifetime.
That’s all for now. From São Paulo with love and speed.