Wednesday March 28th, 2001
Brazilian Formula One driver Luciano Burti defended his home Grand Prix against criticism on Wednesday and said Interlagos was a better circuit than some venues.
"Do we have bumps here? Yes we do, but it is not the only bumpy track on the calendar," he told a Jaguar news conference before Sunday's race.
"I think the organisers are doing the best they can...I think Interlagos is above the average."
Burti, a native of Sao Paulo who will be racing in his home Grand Prix for the first time, said Silverstone in England had worse traffic jams than those seen at Interlagos.
Interlagos organisers were fined $100,000 last year after various incidents before and during the race.
Advertising hoardings fell on to the track, narrowly missing Frenchman Jean Alesi in a Prost during qualifying, and the Saubers did not take part in the race after suffering wing failures later blamed on the bumpy track.
Brazilian Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello was quoted earlier in the week as saying that Brazil had a negative image abroad and most Formula One drivers only came to the country because they had to.
Brazil has four drivers in Formula One this season and Burti made clear he was thrilled to be home.
"People may be afraid to come to Brazil, they may think you have to wear a bullet-proof vest because you may be killed in the street," he said.
"But there is also a good side. I think all races have a good side and a bad side."