• Oct 22, 2006
It's no secret that Sao Paulo can be a dangerous place. Business travelers who frequent the city will be able to tell you about the precautions companies recommend they take to protect themselves. Don't leave the hotel. If you do, don't walk alone. Don't carry a laptop (it makes you an instant target for robbery). Wait for taxis inside the lobby. (Example: Criminals will case the hotels, looking for obvious business travelers waiting outside. This lets them see exactly what car they get into so that they can follow it and stage a carjacking once it's away from the hotel.)

Still, precautions or not, the chance for a run-in with criminals is still good -- something members of the Toyota F1 team learned firsthand this weekend. The car carrying Toyota spokesperson Fernanda Villas-Boas and other team personnel was one in a group of vehicles ambushed by around 20 gun-wielding teens about 2 miles from the venue for this weekend's F1 Grand Prix of Brazil.

According to Villas-Boras, who at one point had a gun pointed at her head as she sat in the car, shots were fired at them as they fled, but fortunately no one was injured. Neither Ralf Schumacher nor Jarno Trulli were among those attacked. In any case, it would seem that the Grand Prix of Brazil is something best enjoyed on television, in the comfort and safety of home.

Thanks to reader Brian McPhail for the tip!

[Source: ESPN]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well I go to the University of Georgia, and there's not much to worry about here as far as a poverty-stricken youth that must resort to carjackings with automatic weapons...but way to exaggerate! Anyone seen the movie about the kids in Brazilian favelas called 'City of God?'
      • 8 Years Ago
      I do not have to go to Brazil to run across gun-toting teens. I live in Georgia, USA, and that means even the toddlers are packing before they can even climb out of the strollers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, sounds like a great place to bring the family to watch an F1 race. Until I can afford an armored car and body guard I'll stay in the USA thank you very much.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not surprisiung, third world hell hole + scum = A place no one with common sense will ever go to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Violence in Brazil is really getting worst every day, thank god I live in a town that has less violence than São Paulo, but you can't walk on the streets without paying extra attention to everyone around you.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, I thought the beer hurlin 'necks at Talladega were dangerous! Good luck to Toyota in today's Grand Prix.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What would the Brazilian GP be without a team getting robbed/shot at by the locals? It's part of the local character of the race--like the rolling countryside at Magny Cours, or the stark desert backdrop of Bahrain. Like ultra-luxurious golf course condos, the shantytowns and feral children that line the straights in Sao Paulo just show the world what a friend F1 is to the world community.
      • 8 Years Ago
      James wrote: 9. Not surprisiung, third world hell hole + scum = A place no one with common sense will ever go to.

      You sound like that scholar in Washington, D.C. that got us up to our necks in horse shit. I served in the military with idiots like you, and when I thought they deserved it, even stood by and watched them get their asses kicked for disrespecting other people and their culture.

      The place that you referred to above, sound like any number of cities across these United States. You ask why the world cheers whenever America is in trouble? It's because of pompus, arrogant assholes like you.
      How dare we call anyone "Third World" when the Canadian Royal Mounted Police was able to get to New Orleans before our Federal Government could? How soon we forget, what a shit-hole New Orleans was/is.

      ...and before you ask, no, I am not Barzilian.