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Paddock Postcard from Sao Paulo 25 Nov 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 24 November 2012 Rubens Barrichello (BRA).
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 23 November 2012 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 at the Mercedes Team Photo.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel may be fully focused on the main prize and the rest of the paddock may be feeling a little jaded after a 20-round season, but nowhere is a better tonic for reinvigorating the soul than the ever-atmospheric Interlagos. And as usual the paddock at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace was full of familiar faces from Brazil’s racing scene.

The country’s first world champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, was joined by his brother Wilson and Wilson’s son Christian, Nelson Piquet Sr also made an appearance, and was joined by fellow countrymen Maurizio Sandro Sala, Luciano Burti, Alex Ribeiro, Rubens Barrichello, Ricardo Rosset and Lucas di Grassi, while racers from other shores included steward Tom Kristensen, Mexican former CART driver Adrian Fernandez who is managing soon-to-be McLaren driver Sergio Perez, Argentine Tarso Marques and Scot Allan McNish. Viviane Senna, Ayrton’s sister and Bruno’s mother, was a keen visitor in the Williams garage.

As well as the scene of much celebration, the Sao Paulo paddock has seen a fair few goodbyes this weekend ahead of several major line-up changes in 2013. As he prepared for his retirement for the second time, Michael Schumacher’s helmet said: ‘Life is about passions. Thank you for sharing mine.’ And as he prepared to drive for McLaren for the last time, Lewis Hamilton’s said: ‘Thank you McLaren’.

Local hero Felipe Massa also wore a new livery on his helmet: instead of it being its usual blend of yellow, green and blue it was orange and blue, as a homage to his father ‘Titanio’ in whose helmet colours he originally raced.

For more pictures, check out our Paddock Postcard gallery.

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