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Paddock Postcard from Interlagos 25 Sep 2005

(L to R): Nelson Piquet (BRA) with Frank Dernie (GBR) Williams Special Projects Manager and Mark Webber (AUS) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 September 2005

Who's who in the Brazilian pit lane this weekend?

Interlagos’s Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace traditionally attracts celebrity visitors, and this weekend has been no exception.

Brazil’s very own three-times Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet is here, together with former F1 racer and Safety Car driver Alex Ribeiro, and of course former IRL champion Gil de Ferran is now an intrinsic part of BAR Honda’s management. BAR test drivers Enrique Bernoldi and Danile Dirani were also on hand there, while former Ferrari, Prost and Jaguar runner Luciano Burti did a demonstration run in one of last year’s BMW Williams FW26s.

Former Formula Three star Maurizio Sandro Sala (one of the sport’s lost talents) was another visitor and is keen to find a role in GP2, while former Formula Two team owner Fred Opert made his fourth F1 appearance of the season.

Another ex-F3 racer in evidence was Carlos Abella, now part of the Spanish Federation who were visiting in the hope of seeing Fernando Alonso put the final touches to his world championship campaign and to help put motorsport on the map in his homeland the way that Emerson Fittipaldi, whom he would succeed as the youngest-ever champion, did for Brazil back in the Seventies.