The Brazilian Grand Prix's place on the Formula 1 calendar should not come under threat because of the threat of crime in Sao Paulo, in the view of some the sport's leading team principals.
Outgoing World Champion Jenson Button escaped an attempted carjacking on the way back to his hotel on Saturday evening, while in a separate incident, members of the Sauber team were reported to have been held at gunpoint while their belongings were stolen.
Both cases inevitably put the spotlight on a problem that F1 has faced before in the impoverished area around the Interlagos venue. But Button's McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said it would be unfair to punish the race organizers for incidents that happened outside of their control within the city.
"In fairness to the organizers, I don't think they can be responsible for what goes on outside here – there is a limit to what they can do," he said. "I think we have heard about it over the years, but it has clearly escalated, I am told there were five incidents [this year], and when they start carrying machine guns then it starts taking on slightly bigger levels. So that is worrying."
"But Brazil has a soccer World Cup and an Olympic Games coming, so it is something that they are going to have to work quite hard on in this country, and I am sure they will. I think this country is on an economic bubble at the moment, so it would be nice to see the country develop, as I am sure it will do in the coming years."
Ferrari's team chief Stefano Domenicali added that the positive atmosphere that the Brazilian round added to the World Championship that should be harnessed and protected in years to come.
"To be honest, I don't want to say that we are here and it is a dangerous situation," he said. "We know that anywhere in the world something bad can happen. I think that we need to thank all the organizers here that are trying to do the maximum they can and I would like to stress this positive point, because also this week I know people had some problems."
Domenicali said his team didn't approach this race any differently in terms of security.
"We didn't do any extra precautions – we will try normal stuff but, once again, I would like to stress the fact that here in Brazil the atmosphere is really great. There were a lot of people saying that I will come here to Brazil and you will see how everyone will be against Ferrari and I was trembling – I'm joking! – and it was not true.
"All the fans here were cheering Ferrari and this is one thing that you cannot forget – the passion for F1, also for Brazilian drivers and our brand. This is something we have to bring home and also to the benefit of the ones who are trying to put the extra pressure on us."