• 37
Here's what we know. According to The Press Association, reigning Formula One World Champion Jenson Button has survived an armed attack on the vehicle in which he, his father, trainer and manager were being transported back to their hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil after Saturday's qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Button was fortunately riding in an armored vehicle provided by his team, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, that was piloted by a police driver trained in avoidance techniques.

According to Button himself, the attack occurred while his vehicle was moving slowly past a shanty town in Sao Paulo. Six armed attackers, reportedly brandishing machine guns, attacked the vehicle, though Button doesn't mention whether shots were fired or his vehicle was hit. He has, however, praised his driver, who he says "bounced off about five cars" while ferrying the party from harm's way. That's quite a compliment coming from the reigning World Champion.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes also provided Button's teammate Lewis Hamilton with an armored vehicle and trained police driver. The precautions were reportedly taken on account of the high number of gun crimes in Sao Paulo. We're not sure if that's standard procedure for all F1 teams visiting Brazil this weekend, but we bet it will be in the future. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: UKPA]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago

      Safe to say that this was not the headline the Sao Paulo Tourist Board was hoping for.
      • 4 Years Ago
      COD:MW2 there asses.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, no Brazilian GP's for the future and it might not be...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remember I visited in Sao Paulo several years ago. I was passing out bite-sized candy to the kids when one of the kids said he wanted more than he got. I told him its the same amount as everyone, then the kid threatened to bring his brother and shoot me. So I did what everyone else would do when a kid threatens an adult, I ran the hell out of there and stayed at my friends house until we where scheduled to go to Rio de Jineiro. I can't believe I got threatened for candy...

      Anyways, Brasil can be a fun place if you know where to go and where not to go, same as every where else you visit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i wonder if the situation had gotten worse, would Button have taken over the wheel?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hamilton would have probably fired back
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm just going to say that JB is friggin' beautiful. He can drive my armored car anytime. Uh huh.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone of 'value' travels in an armored vehicle in Sao Paulo. Kidnapping is prevalent and profitable in Brasil.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Jesus, I can't believe the braintrust that is the IOC chose that country for the Olympics.
      They are going to get people killed.

      For an interesting perspective of Brazil watch the movie City of God.
      Great movie.
        • 4 Years Ago
        South Africa that hosted the worlds largest sport event did ok so i'm not throwing Brazil to the fire just for this.
        Thought Brazil hosting both World Cup and Olympics in short time between the two was a bit more than generous and load that i'm not sure should ever even be given
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just when you thought the specifications of those armored vehicles seems like overkill, they prove their worth! Excellent news for the engineers behind it, albeit sad that it came to this. Overall i'm happy to hear he was safe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've been to Brazil for work...I would never go there for a vacation...
      Although the middle class is growing, you'd never know it. Driving to work everyday(sorry, I was driven as it was deemed unsafe for me to drive!), you had the lovely view of miles and miles of corrugated metal shanty towns...then you pull into your place of work(I work for a relatively large Germany multinational) which is gated with electrified fencing and security, you are greeted to Audi A8's and BMW 7 series...all the while people are begging for food and money and trying to sell you anything they can find(newspapers that are days old, literally garbage...). I can totally understand why violence is so high...there is mostly just abject poverty and then stupid wealth. For a westerner like myself, it was a real eye opener as I never realized Brazil was a 3rd world country to the extent it is(I was in Sao Paulo but Rio was horrible as well). I feel bad for Brazilians as it's a dump...cannot imagine how an Olympics or World Cup could go on there without problems...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah unfortunately it's like that in many latin american countries. You'll have rich people driving Lambos and going to really nice shopping malls with all the luxury brands having stores there, but then on the drive home you'll be passing some of the poorest areas in the world. Still debating whether to take a trip myself down there to a country with similar problems-I'd be going mostly to help people but on the other hand I'm sure just being an American makes you kidnapping-worthy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Brazil is a land of contradictions (much like India and some others). You have some of the wealthiest people in the world but at the same time you have some of the poorest people too. The favelas are infamous for the underdeveloped living conditions of millions but right next to them are multimillion dollar mansions overlooking the ocean.

        This extreme social-economical inequality is caused by some feedback loops where the majority of people are poor and thus cannot get a decent education but because they don't have an education they are poor. A cycle of poverty that is near impossible to escape. But because the poor live right next to the super rich, there is severe resentment and thus many turn to violence to vent their anger as well as try to survive their tough world.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This should be the last race there, ever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, first time AB got an F1 story that short after happening, usually they're a few days behind. Someone must've been staying up late :)
    • Load More Comments
    2015 Ford Mustang
    MSRP: $23,800 - $46,170
    2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,665 - $44,040
    2015 Jeep Cherokee
    MSRP: $23,095 - $30,895
    2015 Subaru Forester
    MSRP: $22,195 - $33,095
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630