“Racing has always been a big part of my life. It’s my passion. All the work I put in is to become the best. I am a competitor and will not rest till I get what I am after.”
In 1978 the Grand Prix moved to Rio, but in 1979 Interlagos got its race back. By 1981, however, Rio had retaken the Grand Prix, Sao Paulo’s slums being at odds with the glamorous image Formula One wanted to portray. When a $15m redevelopment programme was agreed in the heyday of Ayrton Senna, a Sao Paulo local, the race finally switched back to Interlagos.
And there it has stayed. Since Senna’s death there has been no Brazilian world champion, but the passion of the Brazilian fans keeps the sport coming back every year.
If you like big cities, you’ll love Sao Paulo. It’s big, it’s exciting and it’s becoming increasingly multi-cultural, thanks to its large number of émigrés. The famous shanty towns, or favellas, still dominate the suburbs, but the city’s reputation is very much on the up – as people who live there will tell you.
Over to local resident Barrichello: “The football stadium is huge and worth a visit; I think there are matches every Wednesday and Sunday. My favourite restaurant is called Jam, where I go to eat once a week. The atmosphere’s great and they certainly know how to cook beef.”
Brazil is famous for its churrascarias restaurants, where you eat as much beef as you can. They’re very common and a favourite F1 haunt is Fogo de Chao.