. sao paulo brazil and interlagos circuit carlos pace guide with hotels near the track + tickets
Where we headed this time?
interlagos circuit carlos pace sao paulo brazil
VENUE ADDRESS: Avenida Senador Teotonio, Vilela 261, Sào Paulo, Brasil.
> Location & Directions: How do we get to the Interlagos Grand Prix Circuit?
Distance from downtown: The Interlagos circuit is located 18 kms / 13 miles from downtown in a wealthier suburb of Sao Paulo, but as this is a city of extremes, don't be surprised by the shanty-towns you'll see on the way.
Hotels Accommodations close by Interlagos Circuit - hotels nearby?
Sao Paulo Downtown Hotels (about 11 miles)
Find 100 + Hotels near interlagos Circuit Sao Paulo Brazil
(find every available accommodations lodging within 40 miles of the Sao Paulo F1 racetrack Circuit hotels )
Parthenon Sao Paulo The Town
Hotel Address: Rua Prof. Carlos de Carvalho 168
Sao Paulo, 04531080 Brazil BR (4 miles from Interlagos Circuit )
Ibis Sao Paulo Interlagos
Hotel Address: Av Interlagos 2215
Sao Paulo Sp, 04661200 Brazil BR (5 miles from Interlagos Circuit )
Parthenon Sao Paulo Nacoes Unidas
Hotel Address: Rua Profesor Manoelito de
Sao Paulo, 04719040 Brazil BR (8 miles from Interlagos Circuit )
Melia Confort Berrini
Hotel Address: Rua Quintana, 934 - Brooklin Novo
Sao Paolo, 04569-011 Brazil BR (9 miles from Interlagos Circuit )
Radisson Hotel Sao Paulo Faria Lima
Hotel Location: AV. CIDADE JARDIM, 625
Sao Paulo, 01453-000 Brazil BR (11 miles from Interlagos Circuit )
Find 100 more Hotels near interlagos Circuit Sao Paulo Brazil
> Find Hotels near all major motorsports venues in the world
Also check for hotels (from Nearest to Furthest) in :
Sao Paulo Downtown Hotels (about 11 miles)
Guarulhos Hotels - Sao Paulo Brazil Airport about 15 miles from the track)
> Find Hotels in Every city in Brazil
> What's the nearest major airport or in Sao Paulo's case - airports?
> (GRU) Aeroporto Guarulhos (Cumbica) Airport Cumbica for international flights is located 18MIs / 28KMs N of city, and São Paulo-
> Find Hotels near GRU Aeroporto Guarulhos (Cumbica) Sao Paulo Brazil
> Airport Website: Aeroporto Guarulhos (Cumbica) (GRU)
> (CGH) Aeroporto Congonhas Airport (domestic) is located 114KMs / 9 MIs from downtown -
> Find Hotels near CGH Aeroport Congonhas Sao Paulo Brazil
> CGH Airport Website: ??? - All brazilian Airports are run by Infraero see GRU link above.
Find Hotels near airports in Brazil and international
Shop for the cheapest airfare to Congonhas Airport (CGO) or Guarulhos CUmbica Airport (GRU) for your trip to Interlagos Circuit Sao Paulo Brazil with my online travel store or get your flight tickets from the Airline online and save. See my listing of Airlines of the World Links.
NOTE: An airport departure tax of around 36USD (last time I checked) is payable on leaving Brazil. There are over 30 airports in Sao Paulo, the biggest city in the world, take note which one you're flying into.
From CRU: Air-conditioned cab: about 50USD, Regular cab: 20USD, Shuttle: 10USD. Cabs in SP are expensive because of the high price of gas. Cheaper cabs may be in disrepair & without rear seatbelts, & while usually plentiful, cabs can often be hard to find areas away from downtown during busy periods.
RV Parking and Camping at Interlagos Circuit? ???
There is no camping at interlagos circuit. In SP, "downtown" is not be considered the safest part of the city. There is a tourist area called the "paulista jardims," which is expensive, but you'll be safer & have all the best shopping & eating choices nearby. A circuit shuttle bus station is located in the heart of this area. The other thing to note in SP is the availability of "flats" or self-contained apartments, which provide inexpensive lodging. See also my list and accommodations links above and my Grand Prix Cities Hotels in Sao Paulo page for lodging suggestions.
Where's the Map?
> Check out this Sao Paulo Brazil satellite and road map with nearest hotels
Directions in Sao Paulo?
For Driving Directions anywhere in Sao Paulo or Brasil (Guia de Ruas e Mapas Rodoviários, com Rotas e Localizador de Endereço) http://maplink.uol.com.br/
Got a Interlagos trackmap?
see below for interlagos Track Map. Also check out other world Circuit and Speedway Trackmaps.
> Local road work / construction?
Road Advisories & Local road work / construction?
I don't know where you'd get such information unless it was on local radio and probably in Portugese. If you kow let me know an am/fm station in any language with traffic, news and weather in Sao Paulo
> Got the Sao Paulo Brazil weather and radar?
Sao Paulo forecast - weather.com
Local Public Transit
Buses & Trains: Within São Paulo, the subway is the safest & fastest transport option, but with only three lines, it is fairly limited. Check your route carefully, try to travel during daylight hours, & check for last trains if you plan to be out late. The Metrô is open from 5h-24h, including weekends, but ticket windows close at 22h. See http://www.subwaynavigator.com/ for more. Bus travel can be complicated. For info tel: +55 0800 123 133 (toll free inside Brasil) Buses are frequently overcrowded & hot because they have no air conditioning, however, they are the cheapest & most efficient way to get around. Note though., in poorer neighborhoods, armed gangs occasionally take over busses & rob passengers. This is much less likely on F1™ race-related shuttles. (see next section or see an old race transit transportation brochure click the image in the right column - last picture. )
Getting to Interlagos circuit by Sao Pualo public transport
You can find out about the shuttles available for the GP weekend from sptrans.com, the Sao Paulo city transportation people, as the race draws nearer. They leave various locations around town, mostly in/near Gardins. For Circuit parking, if you really must drive, but don't believe anyone, even the sweetest looking kid, who promises to guard you're car during the race. (see also "driving")
Brazilians drive on the right side of the road with left hand steering and use the metric system (KMs) is used. There is a restriction on travel in cars to one day a week based on the last number of the vehicle's registration plate. This "Rodizio" is organized to help the polution/conjestion problem in the city and doesn't apply to rental cars.
Parking can only happen in the streets around the circuit. This isn't the safest place in the world to leave a car though. Don't fall for the I'll look after your car for 20 reais scam. Better to catch one of the shuttle buses provided by the local transit authority. (sptrans link above) Really, it's better. Trust me.
> What's the local newspaper say?
I don't know what the best SP newspaper is, and if they're online, and if their in English. If you know, contact me via the link at the bottom of this page.
If you're planning to make the most of your stay in SP, at the airport on the way in stop and grab a copy of the Veja ("view") magazine. On Wednesday it features an entertainment insert, the Little Veja, that covers the entire weekends entertainment. SP's version of Time Out Entertainment Guide..
EATING IN SAO PAULO
In 1999 the city won the 'Gastronomic City of the World' award, so eating well in São paulo, especially given it's rich culture of Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, and African immigration, is guaranteed. Eating here is considered a casual, and very social, passtime, with lunch (almoço), the main meal of the day, often comprising 4-5 courses served between 12h-14h.
Brazilian eateries are divided into 2 basic types "rodizio" or all-you-can-eat bistros (around $20-30USD), and sit down restaurants. With sit down meals you'll probably get a platter of local fruits, and end your meal with brazilian espresso- cafezinho. Brazilian food is often identified with the use of Malagueta, a very hot pepper sauce, which is usually placed on the table with condiments, but sometimes used in the food, and its use of Dendê, or Palm Oil, which can sometimes prove hard to digest for those not used to it. But then diet change difficulties are the price you pay for new experiences when traveling. Common dishes are Feijoada (beef, pork, beans, and rice covered in Mandioca -Cassava- meal and Churrasco (or CHURRASCARIA) (barbecued meats served with peppers, onions, and mandioca). Tasty Stuff. My favorite churrasco eatery is Baby Beef Rubayat at Av Brigadeiro Fara Lima, Jardins. Tel: +55 (0) 3078 9488.
You'll find many more fine restaurants including the Terraço Itália, at the top of the 41-story Itália building offers an astounding 360-degree view of the city! It's not cheap, but the view of the city of 5 million that seems to sprawl forever is astounding. tel: +55 (0) 11-257- 6566
So many restaurants come and go in SP, it's hard to recommend one from one visit to the next. The best restaurant in town is arguably Vento's Churrascaria, which is an institution, and has, unlike other places in the huge turnover of eateries in the city, survived the true test of time. Huge slabs of meat brought to the table on skewers and carved at your table. I'm talking yum.
The city features no fewer than 50 malls and 42 distinct specialist shopping markets. Each of these markets specializes in one type of ware creating competitive markets for most high demand consumer goods in one central street or block. For example the autoparts market on Av. Aricanduva 5555, in Vila Matilde or travel related stores piled along Av. Washington luis in Jardims. The best boutique stores, (i.e. Armani and Louis Vuiton), and the most sophisticated of all city malls is the "Shopping Jardin Sul" on Avenida Giovanni Granchi 5819, Morumbi. tel: +55 11 8441 000.
Casino?To find a place for gambling you'll need to visit Paraguay to the East. Find Hotels in Ciudad Del Este (Iguazu, Puerto Iguazu) Argentina / Paraguay . Casinos are outlawed in Brazil.
São Paulo is considered the cultural capital of Brazil and boasts many items of interest for the connoisseur of fine arts including:
> Museu de Arte de São Paulo: Holds works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Modilgiani, Van Gogh, and Raphael: Address: Avenida Paulista, 1578, Telephone: +55 (0)11 2515 644 During the 2002 race weekend, the Museum held an exhibition based around the country's most famous sportsman, Pele, which was appropriate given that it was a World Cup year, the exhibit included many artifacts and homages to the champion soccer player including an Andy Warhol Portrait. It was well worth looking at. (While there take the time to also visit the MASP Antique Outdoor Fair nearby) I'll news of the April 2002 special exhibition for the Museum as soon as word comes to me.
> Brazilian Art Museum: Containing works by Brazilian artists. Address: 903 Rua Alagoas, Telephone: +55 (0) 11 8264 233
>Contemporary Art Museum of Sao Paulo: Containing works by modern masters including Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, and Miro as well as some fine local work. Address: Rectorate, Cidade Universitaria, Telephone: +55 (0) 11 8183 039
>The baroque Teatro Municipal (pictured © EMBRATUR) which is a truely gorgeous place to visit and at the top of any sightseeing day you might allow yourself in the city.
The Sacred Art Museum: Filled with artifacts brought with colonizers in the 17thC. Address: Av. Tiradentes 676, Telephone: +55 (0) 11 2277 694
One of the major reasons for São Paulo exponential growth during the last 100 years is the rise of the Coffee business. To see where this phenomenon had it's base visit the Mercado (market) Municipal. This is at the heart of the Historic downtown area, stained glass windows depict the history of the coffee and agricultural business in the city.
Another little known fact is that the city has a heavy Japanese migrant base that began after world war 2 and flourished. You'l find a museum chronicling this important cultural influx in 5,400 exhibits at Rua São Joaquim, 381, and Liberdade. It is open from Tuesday to Friday from 13h30-17h. This exhibit is in the Liberdade area (the Japanese Neighborhood of the city) which hosts, on Sundays, the Liberdade Fair at Praça da Liberdade (Freedom Square).
The West discovered Brazil in 1500, when Portuguese explorer, Pedro Álvares Cebral first landed there. As one of the biggest cities in the world, São Paulo offers much by way of architectural interest. From shantytowns to skyscrapers Brazil has it all. Much of the early immigration was Italian and Japanese, and these flavors are detectable in the style of the city. A walking tour of the old São Paulo is available taking in many sites including the founding place of the city and the baroque Teatro Municipal, built in 1903, fashioned after the Paris Opera. Telephone: +55 (0) 11 5336 881
Going to the movies in Sao Paulo? - Cinema
Films shown in São Paulo are usually in their original language, with Portuguese subtitles. Only certain kids's movies are dubbed into Portuguese. Again, check the Little Vaja magazine for lisings.
Ibirapuera Park (pictured © EMBRATUR), is São Paulo's leisure 'resort'. One of the largest parks in the city includes 4 lakes, a plant nursery, a Japanese pavilion, the Planetarium, the Folklore Museum and art museums, including the oldest museum of modern art in the country, the Marquise of Ibirapuera Park. Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and landscape artist, Burle Marx, designed the park. Another of Oscar Niemeyer's architectural designs can be found in the downtown area as well, the flowing, Edificio Copan on São Luis Av., built in 1951. Address: Avenida Pedro Alvares Cabral, São Paulo. Telephone: +55 (0) 11 5745 177 (see also other sections above)
Go Carts: ???
Theme Parks Near by:
Restaurants/Clubs/Cafes: see eating above
In São Paulo take time to see:
> Meuseo de Arte São Paulo (M.A.S.P)
> Contemporary Art Museum
> Baroque Teatro Municipal
> Japanese District in Liberdade & its Sunday Fair at Praça da Liberdade
> Ibirapuera Park
> Beautiful beaches 40MIs/65KMs from town, or consider sailing/diving at Ilhabela ("Beautiful Island")
> Who races at Interlagos Circuit?
Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix Dates
Click link for coming series date / schedule
Brazilian Grand Prix Tickets
Try my Racing Tickets Online Page. Remember too that tickets purchased even months in advance from an official source are not issued/sent out until 4 weeks before the event.
Did you know this about Interlagos Circuit?
Interlagos literally means "between the lakes", and true to it's name lakes flank the circuit. The circuit is located 18 kms / 13 miles from downtown in a wealthier suburb ofthe city, but as this is a city of extremes, don't be surprised by the shanty-towns you'll see on the way.
In case you were wondering, there is no general admission area at interlagos for the f1™ event . All seats are numbered, but don't expect your perfectly chosen cheaper seat to be unoccupied when you get there, kind of like the crap that goes on at Spa Francorchamps, where out-of-towners are treated second class, and don't expect any sympathy from local "attendants", at either track. Unfortunately, only the really expensive seats get the real service. Also consider taking one of the covered stands at all possible, with the weather likely to be very hot and or very very wet, you'll appreciate the cover! Favored stands include B and D (see trackmap below), from which a great deal of the racing circuit is visable. read below for more.
Best Viewing / Seating at Interlagos Circuit Sao Paulo Brazil:
Interlagos literally means "between the lakes", and true to it's name lakes flank the circuit. Built in a natural amphitheatre, full of changes in elevation, like the now-retired a1-ring in Austria and or the Hungaroring, the circuit offers views of over 50% of the track are possible from most seating vantages. Try, however, to get close to the Senna curve to see action, or the back straight curve into the start/finish for an example of sheer speed. Interlagos has 2 main straight sections, one is in front
of the paddock, and the opposite straight, "Reta
oposta". The end of this second has a very nice seating
sector which allows spectators to see the mid-track, with
closed curves. It doesn't allow, however, a view of the
pit boxes, and is uncovered so you're SOL if it rains (which is usual), but then again they are also some of the cheapest seats. Good value over all.
The disabled stand is shown on the official trackmap< (below) as ["setor cpa"]. This is a wheelchair friendly grandstand featuring ramp access/ special sanitary facilities. Ticket price for a disabled person and discount for accompanying person/carer was about 100USD for race day. Transport is provided by the city´s disabled transport facility. >
Track Side Commentary
Commentary is in English & Portuguese, via track's public address system. (More Portugese ) If your position doesn't allow a view of a big screen, try to get close (very close) to one of these speakers, as in the past there was no simulcast live AM/FM radio commentary.
post-race track access to the track?
Nope. Things can fall on you at interlagos! Even in the middle of the track in the middle of the race! (A little joke for older F1 fans).
Other revhead Auto Related Activites in and around Sao Paulo
Often the Ayrton Senna Foundation offers memorial events to the late great (and much missed) 3 times world Champion, particularly during the Formula 1 weekend. See Ayrton Senna Do Brasil
> Ayrton Senna's gravesite at Cemitério Morumbi. Rua Deputado Laércio Cortes, 468, São Paulo.: His stone reads "Nada pode me separar do amor de Deus", trans: "Nothing will separate me from the love of God" This is a major destination for so many motor sport enthusiasts, particularly, japanese people, who adore the sadly missed 3 times World Champion. For F1™ race weekend Senna events contact his Brazilian Fan Club - Tel: +55 11 6954 3200 or visit Institute Ayrton Senna. R.I.P, Ayrton.
> Granja Viana 500 mile Karting race
> São Paulo international Running Marathon
Speedway Circuit Official Website: > Interlagos Circuit Website - changes every year or so - no wonder the entire world comes to me for travel info for Interlagos. I ought to be "honorary official website" for the circuit. Hope I'm helping here. Send picture. Hello Margaret!
Official Brazilian Tourism Website
MISC INFO of use to travelers to Brazil
... Curency: (Brazilian Reais (pl.) Real (sing.) 1 real = 100 centavos. Brazilian currency fluctuates wildly. See - Oanda Exchange Rate Converter
... ATM Locator
...Tipping & Taxes:
Tipping is not expected in brazil. However, Hotel & Airport bellhops should be given 1USD per bag, Try to avoid tipping public servants as this may be seen as bribing.
Note:Many businesses in Brazil closefrom noon until 2.30pm for lunch and in the case of an emergency need for funds your travelers checks can be cashed by most major hotel cashiers, banks and travel agencies.
> Time Zone: AGT, GMT -3
> Telephone Info:
... Emergency Number: police 190.
... International dialing code is ???
... For info about international calls dial 000333, but you'll need a phone card to do so from a public phone. To call out of the country dial 0021 or 0023, then country code, area code, (without zero for Europe) and phone number.
Electricity AC/DC: European-sytle, 2 round pin. Foreign visitors may need to bring an adapter and check to see that their appliances are compatible.
> Local Liquor Laws: Legal Drinking Age in Brazil is 18.
>What language do they Speak in Sao Paulo Brazil?
Langueage: Portuguese - except for some stores, hotels, or in business, very little english is spoken. While written Brazilian Portuguese is similar euro portuguese, they sound very different. For Portugese language tools including MP3 Pimsleur lessons see my Learning Language download page
DIGITAL AUDIO BOOKS - MP3/IPOD/ available for Purchase Download include:
Pimsleur Quick and Simple Brazilian Portuguese for English Speakers
VocabuLearn: Portuguese, Level 1
> Notes for international Travelers
> Brazilian airport duty free stores are not allowed by law to accept local currency . You are likely to need a visa, people from many countries do. See braziltravel.org for more information.
border crossing: Brazil borders on every country in South America except Ecuador and Chile. The country can be entered into if traveling through South America by road, train from Bolivia, bus from Uruguay or by river down the Amazon from Peru.
> Pack your credit card, your fave t-shirt & shorts, your umbrella, & your pacemaker - we're headed for the energy, magic, music & food of São Paulo, Brazil:
> TIP #1:
Even from the continental u.s., the trip to brazil is a long one. For example 10 hours from new york. Get sleep. You'll need your wits about you, & your wallet welded to your hip in sao paulo!
Ask a travel agent about TAM airlines brazil airpass, which lets you buy booklets of airline vouchers both for travel within brazil and various other south american destinations for substantial savings. U.S residents can call tam airlines direct about the pass at 1-800-2flytam
Travelers medical insurance is essential in Brazil as hospital & general medical costs are very high. São Paulo has many hospitals. Be careful of drinking tap water. Bottled water is advised. See do/don'tbelow for personal safety information.
> Personal Safety: Note: sp is a city of extremes. Immense wealth, of the type that required the establishment of the world's first "walled" wealthy suburb "Alphaville" in the 70s, rests beside bitter poverty. This makes for a combustible situation. Tourists who look like "tourists" are perfect targets for warned of activities such as car-jackings and muggings. The often-obnoxious 'grand prix jet setter' (jester?) image, that may work in Monaco, is not something that will get you too far here. You will be mugged! To address the security problem, SP also has its own tourist police, deatur, with offices downtown. Local police will also assist tourists. for police help freecall: #190.
> Do have a trusted local show you around. It's amazing how quickly you can find yourself in a dangerous area. A trusted local is not someone who offers their services on the street or through a flier! Hype is used with impunity and without conscience on the streets of entrepreneurial SP!
> Don't assume that the downtown is the most "tourist friendly" part of the city. It certainly is not.
> Handshakes are acceptable greetings for men and women. For business have some business cards printed in portuguese. (at least one side) Remember, while it is spoken by some, English is not a common language.
> Brazilian people are not likely to consider themselves Latin American, but Brazilian. They are proud of their unique heritage, which is not transplanted Portuguese, despite their language, which reads the same but sounds very different. Respect this.
> Don't make the OK sign with your hand. This is considered obscene.ok?
> Don't think you are a better swimmer than a Brazilian, because of the heat many of them "live" in the beautiful waters of the beaches nearby.
> BEWARE forged event tickets online. Buy from official sources only.
> BE SENSIBLE, stay amongst people, in groups, hold tight to your walet/purse, & HAVE FUN!
> Who's going to church on Sunday? Places of Worship:
Here are some of the many places of worship serving the many religions represented in Sao Paulo.
> Methodist Association Church: Av. Pualista 639 C.Cesar. tel: +55 (0) 3253-9202
> Presbyterian Church. Al. Jaú, 752. C.Cesar. tel: +55 (0) 284-4533
> Russian Orthodox Cathedral: Av. Tambandaré, 701. Consolação. tel: +55 (0) 3208-1004
> CIP-São Paulo Jewish Cong'n. Rua Antonio Carlos, 653 C.Cesar. tel: +55 (0) 3256-7811
> Hare Krishna Temple. Av. Angélica, 2583 Consolação. tel: +55 (0) 3259-7352
> Armenian Church: Av Santos Dumont, 55 ponte Pequena. tel: +55 (0) 288 -5239
> Seicho-No-lêdo. Av. Pereira 1266 Jabaquara. tel: +55 (0) 5011-0077
> Synagogue Beit Yaacov. Rua Dr. Veiga Filho, 547 Higienópolis. tel: +55 (0) 3826-3533
> Mosque. Rua Elisa Whitacker, 17 Brás. tel: +55 (0) 3315-0569
> Mosque Brazil. Av. Do Estado, 5382 Cambuci. tel: +55 (0) 3208-6789
> Holy Family Church (Chinese) Rua Santa Justina, 290, Vila Olímpia. tel: +55 (0) 3845-0264
> São Paulo Episcopal Church, Rua Com. Elias Zursur, 1239, alto da B oa Vista. tel: +55 (0) 5686-8829
> Buddhist Temple. Rua São Joaquim, 285 Liberdade Consolação. tel: +55 (0) 3208-4515
> Italian Caholic: Our Lady of Peace Rua do Glicério, 225, Vàrzia do Glicério. tel: +55 (0) 3209-5388
> German Catholic: São Bonifàcio. Rua Humberto I, 298, Vila Mariana. tel: +55 (0) 5571-4609
> French Catholic: São Francisco de Sales. Rua Mairinque, 256, Vila Clementino. tel: +55 (0) 5571-5422
> More Formula 1 Travel Guides & dates schedules
A few more notes about Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo is home to an estimated 20 million people and covering 580 sq. miles, São Paulo is the fifth largest city in the world. Its dangers are part of F1™ folklore, but its magic is incredible. The city is one of tense extremes of great wealth and great extreme poverty, but never, for too long at least, great sadness. Paulistanos (locals) know how to party, know how to eat, and certainly know shopping.
Tourists very much like to visit the city during its annual Lent Carnivale (carnaval), in fact, up until the change in schedule for 2004, the Grand Prix event often fell within a week or two of the race. Still, not to worry. That now gives us 2 great reasons (besides many more) to visit the city every year. The electricity generated by the festivities surrounding Carnaval, which are as big and bold as, if not bigger and bolder than, similar events I've witnessed in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, or Venice.
During any visit to the city you're likely to find yourself hovering around the central tourist and shopping section of the city, Paulista Jardims ('jar-jeans' a.k.a. Cerquira Cesar), which adjoins the city's major road, Av. Paulista. Look out for the famous Meuseo de arte São Paulo (MASP) and tourist information booths with English speaking reps. These are also scattered around the historic downtown region.
For entertainment tips, pick up a copy of Veja ("view") weekly magazine and its entertainment lift-out, the "Little Veja". Also visit Brazilian Ticketmaster. In SP, the streets ring with music, so don't be surprized if you find yourself doing the samba in your sleep.
> Voyage Images of Brasil with Reg & Doug
INTERLAGOS MOTORSPORT TRAVEL NEWS
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FANS MOTORSPORT TRAVEL REPORT - A VISIT TO SAO PAULO AND THE INTERLAGOS CIRCUIT
October 2004 saw our first ever trip to the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo. Here is our report of this adventure!
We arrived in Brazil after a 12 hour, overnight flight from London. We stayed at the 5 star Maksoud Plaza hotel located in the city centre, just off Avenida Paulista. Thankfully the hotel provides complimentary transfers so we were soon at our base. It is generally recommended to stay in the Avenida Paulista/Jardins area as here it is relatively safe and home to the better hotels, shops and restaurants. The hotel cost BRR295.00 (£60/$108) which was a special rate for the Grand Prix weekend. We felt it was good value for a 5 star and the food and drinks at the hotel were also very reasonably priced and of an excellent standard.
As we had no detailed information on how to make our way to the circuit, we spent some time on Thursday trying to find this out. Little English is spoken outside of the major hotels so this proved quite difficult! The tourist information office wrote down 2 bus routes but did not seem too sure and the hotel simply suggested we get a cab. But not to be deterred (and anxious to keep down costs!) we decided to make our own way based on some information that had been sent to us from the race ticket agency. (A quick note that we did not receive our race tickets until the day before we left for Brazil and apparently this is quite normal. The tickets in 2004 were credit card style that had to be inserted into a turnstile each day. On Sunday morning you do not get your ticket back which is a shame as it would make a nice souvenir. All bags are searched on your way into the circuit).
On Friday morning we took the subway from close to our hotel to Jabaquara, the stop at the end of the green (no 2) line. The subway is easy to use, safe, clean and inexpensive. A return journey cost BRR3.40 (around 70p or just over $1).
Jabaquara is a bus/subway terminal and the plan from here was to catch a bus to the circuit. On leaving the subway, the area you arrive in is for the long distance coaches rather than the local buses. We tried for an hour to locate the correct bus but as we were unsure we decided to take a cab that cost BRR30.00 (around £6/$11). Plenty of taxis are available outside the bus station.
We eventually arrived at the circuit in time to see all of free practice. We had chosen grandstand A which is located at the start of the pit lane entry. There is no actual seats in this area, just concrete stepping and this is unnumbered and unreserved. The steps furthest back provide the best views of both the final corner, straight and the twisty infield section directly in front. There are also trees here that provide some shelter from the sun. The rise and fall of the circuit means you can see a good percentage of the track. You are only allowed into the section of the circuit which your ticket is for. It is not possible to walk around the circuit or watch from other areas.
There is no camping available at Interlagos and this creates a different feel from most circuits as everyone leaves as soon as the action is finished for the day. We saw very few "foreign" visitors. There were a few from South Africa but we did not see many other nationalities. This creates a different atmosphere from most circuits as everyone was cheering for Rubens Barrichello rather than a mixture of drivers and teams. It was a little disappointing during the race as his performance did not inspire the crowd! We had expected whistles, samba drums and chanting but it was much more subdued.
Food and drink facilities are not as extensive as at many circuits. Items available included sandwiches, pizza, soft drinks and beer. No coffee, which seemed quite strange considering we were in Brazil! However it is all very cheap. You have to buy tickets for food and drink from a separate booth and then exchange these for the items you want.
Similarly, the merchandise on sale is very limited. There was a small selection of event and circuit merchandise plus some team / driver merchandise items. Again everything was very inexpensive. Programmes were only BRR10.00 (£2, around $4). There is a range of unofficial merchandise available from vendors outside the circuit although there are no stalls set up.
The support programme in Brazil is quite limited so after free practice we headed straight back to the city. Interlagos is sited on a busy main road so it was quite simple to catch a bus back to Jabaquara. We just had to look for the name on the front of the bus preceded by the metro sign. The journey back cost around BRR1.70 (30p/50 cents). You jump on the bus and then pay a person who sits at a turnstile and lets you through once you have paid.
Saturday and Sunday were slightly easier as the local transport company runs special shuttle buses to the circuit. These are located on the main road outside the bus station, through past the area where the long distance coaches are.
A bus used as a ticket office is at the end of the line of minibuses which transport you to the circuit. You have to buy a ticket from here before boarding the bus. These cost BRR15.00 (£3/$5) each for a return. You also get a leaflet with information on the bus times and drop off/pick up points. The shuttle buses drop off at a number of points around the circuit and also picks up at these points after the race. They are clearly marked on the information leaflet.
Queues on both Saturday and Sunday start to build very early in the morning. As the seats are unreserved it is best to get there as early as possible to try and find a good viewing position. All bags are searched on your way into the circuit although this does not seem to slow things down too much. We managed to find a spot around half way down the seating area by arriving at 6.45am.
There is a video screen for seating area A however it only shows on one side. Therefore the side of the seating are with view of the screen gets full much more quickly than the side without. The picture quality was very poor and while it is possible to follow the action you cannot read any of the times, names etc even with binoculars. There is no English commentary only Portuguese. So it was quite difficult to follow the race!!
We had a day in Sao Paulo after the race and we decided to go to a Senna exhibition being held in a local shopping mall. As it was a wet day, we caught on of the local buses at the end of Avenida Paulista that stopped outside the mall. Inside we followed the signs to the exhibition entrance only to be told it was closed that day!! At the time we were very disappointed and could not believe that such a display would not be open the day after the Grand Prix. But we soon realised that this is how things work in Brazil and it is part of their culture.
Our disappointment was compensated for the next day when we met Antonio Pizzonia (ex Jaguar and now BMW Williams test driver) at Sao Paulo airport. He was waiting for his delayed flight home to Manaus in the north of the country. We got autographs, photos and he chatted to us for around half an hour. We talked mainly about Brazil and also Cancun as their race had just been announced and we had all been there a few years ago. He was telling us he hadn't been "home" for 6 months and that a drivers life while fantastic is not as glamourous as it appears from the outside. This really was a highlight of our trip and so nice to have a driver spare the time for fans.
After our time in Sao Paulo, we visited Igusau Falls on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and I would recommend these as a must see. There are 275 waterfalls in total and they are situated in a national park which has lots of unusual wildlife such as coatys, lizards, armadillos and butterflys. We stayed on the Brazilian side which has the best views but also travelled to Argentina for half a day as it is possible to get closer to the falls on this side.
We also stayed in Salvador for 2 nights. It is the old original capital of Brazil and is full of beautiful colonial buildings in the historic centre. The cobbled, narrow streets are interesting and it is renowned for its music. After this we headed to the Costa do Sauipe beach resort for a well deserved break!
We really enjoyed our trip to Interlagos. The facilities at the circuit are pretty basic and it was difficult to get by with the language difference. But it was a real adventure, the race was great and we had a fantastic time afterwards travelling to other places in Brazil.
Special thanks to Cvetko for his Sao Paulo Racing Fan's Travel Guide, which helped get us our bearings. Hope you enjoy our 2004 vacation pictures .
Stephanie and Paul Gerken (see pics right column)
.br - interlagos circuit carlos pace sao paulo brazil track map
Going to interlagos circuit Sao Paulo Brazil, perhaps for some Brazilian Grand Prix Formula 1 racing action?
Here's an official track map so you can see the layout of this fabulous and famous circuit.
map courtesy © [Brazilian F1 Grand Prix Organizers]
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Sao Paulo Interlagos Brazilian Grand Prix Travel Pics
IMAGE 1: Jet Setting Stephanie bumps into to Antonio Pizzonia from the Jaguar (now Williams) F1 racing team! What did Antonio reveal about F1 Travel? Read the report above. He even offered up Driver Autographs, check it out
IMAGE 2: The Ferrari fans have a different Champ in Brazil - Rubens Barrichello!
IMAGE 3: Looking across interlagos! Which grandstand seat is this picture taken from from?
IMAGE 4: Here's Stephanie at the interlagos circuit!
IMAGE 5: Iguasu Falls in Brazil (brilliant place to stop for a bit of r & r after a hard race weekend! Find Foz do Iguacu - Iguazu Falls Hotels Brazil
IMAGE 6: Sao Paulo Grand Prix bus information brochure for the 2004 grand prix (this may change in future years) Click to enlarge!
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