Back to Sao PauloNovember 9 in Brazil
So we are back in Sampa, why you may ask but I'll get to that in a bit. It wasn't the best start as we arrived from the night bus at 7am but couldn't get into our airbnb until midday. However we had a cunning plan to ask a nearby hostel to look after our bags. So we rocked up and Kat in her sweetest voice asked the guy behind the reception. "No" was the response. Now Kat being a pretty blonde woman wasn't used to the word no and her bottom lip started to quiver. So back on to the streets we went to hatch a new plan and whilst Kat recovered and I searched for Starbucks the guy came out to say we could after all - and order was restored to the universe!
Being back also gave us a chance to catch up with a friend of mine Catherine. We met in a craft beer pub (I know, I'm sorry) and we ended up sitting next to some brewers who were having their beer showcased. They gave us plenty of tips (all their beer unsurprisingly) but as most of them were over 7%, we had to be careful. Croma they were called, you heard it here first!
Now for the reason we returned, to go to the Brazilian grand prix. Amazingly thanks to Joey we had paddock access, I was so excited! Given the robbery of the Mercedes team last year we were a bit nervous on the way to the track but it was totally fine. An easy metro ride there spotting fellow F1ers (they weren't hard to spot, team baseball cap and sporty top over a beer belly) and walk to the track with enterprising locals selling everything you might need from their garages.
We went there two days, qualifying on the Saturday and the race itself on Sunday. Kat had been researching F1 all the day before but it clearly wasn't up to much as she spent most of it asking 'who's that?' and was most excited when she saw Steve Jones of T4 fame! Sadly she didn't pluck up the courage to ask for a selfie which she is still regretting but we did get ourselves in the background of plenty of interviews.
Joey had also kindly arranged for us to get a garage tour of the Williams team. It was incredible how much kit they have, 40 sets of tires for the weekend! We saw all the backstage set up, including an engineer in his pants...
The drivers themselves were much harder to come by, that was until I went to the gents about 15 minutes before the start and found myself washing hands next to Kimi Raikkonen. From that point Kat and I weirdly found ourselves hanging outside the gents spotting the drivers jog in for their pre race pee.
Sorry this has been a long post (we had vowed to keep them short) but it turns out we really liked Sampa, not expecting to at all. The city is huge and we only made the lightest of scratches on the surface but it seemed like a really cool city and I was a little sad to leave.Read more