Friday March 23rd, 2001
Most Formula One drivers only race at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos because they have to, according to Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello.
The Brazilian was also quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper on Friday as saying that his team mate Michael Schumacher will travel to Brazil for next week's race without his wife because he is worried about safety there.
"Michael Schumacher will not be bringing his wife Corinna because he is afraid of the violence in Sao Paulo," he said from the Brazilian city.
The Brazilian Grand Prix is on April 1 and world champion Schumacher will be chasing his chasing his seventh successive win at Interlagos.
Barrichello said Brazil was seen in a bad light for its poverty, shanty towns and street children and poor experiences for the drivers in past Grand Prix had added to their reluctance to race there.
"Ninety percent of Formula One drivers only come here because they have to," he said.
"Badly laid asphalt, hoardings that collapse and now a company entrusted with works that downs tools a week before the race," he said.
Local organisers were fined heavily last year after French driver Jean Alesi had a lucky escape when an advertising hoarding collapsed in front of his car in qualifying.
The Sauber team also pulled out before the race on safety grounds after both its cars were involved in crashes.