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Paddock Postcard from Sao Paulo 02 Nov 2008

(L to R): Mansour Ojjeh, TAG with Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 1 November 2008 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger (USA) Pussycat Doll.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda RA108 with a helmet dedicated to Ingo Hoffman (BRA).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008

The paddock at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos always draws in familiar figures, and this year was no exception as former champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet visited. Former March F1 racer and FIA safety car driver Alex Ribiero, former Tyrrell racer Ricardo Rosset and ex-Formula Three star Maurizio Sandro Sala, together with former Formula Two entrant Fred Opert, also made their annual appearances.

Historically, the event marks David Coulthard’s last F1 drive (though rumour has it he’ll be back as a television pundit next year), while McLaren engineer Steve Hallam was also preparing to say goodbye prior to a switch to NASCAR in 2009.

Rubens Barrichello’s future is unsure, but here the Brazilian was wearing a replica of former Fittipaldi F1 racer Ingo Hoffman’s yellow helmet to commemorate the latter’s stellar record of eight titles in Brazilian stock car racing. The genial Paulista is finally retiring at 65.

The paparazzi were entertained trying to keep up with Lewis Hamilton’s Pussycat Doll girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, while on the political front Great Britain’s Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell made a brief appearance.

On-track, Briton Saturday’s Formula BMW support race was won by upcoming American Alexander Rossi.