Wed | Oct 18, 2017

The Mercedes-Benz Formula One experience

Published:Saturday | November 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Mercedes-Benz driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, laughs in his team's pit at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday. The Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix will take place tomorrow. - AP

Andre Lowe, Gleaner Staff Reporter

A few days ago, I was planning a fun-filled weekend; I had it all figured out. I'd ensure the ranch is well stocked with bourbon, I would camp out in front of the TV and go on a sport-watching binge!

Football, NFL, NBA, anything, everything, Formula One - yes! It-s going down to the wire between Mercedes-Benz pair Lewis Hamilton (who everyone seems to like) and the seemingly less affable Nico Rosberg and there is a big race in Brazil this weekend.

Today, I'm in Brazil, waiting with bated breath to live the Team Mercedes Formula One experience, from touching distance.

Ah Brazil, land of football, land of bikinis, land of samba and for this weekend, land of Formula One racing, with the legendary Interlagos course hosting the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.

Lifelong dream

There aren't too many places on the planet, for me that carried a greater appeal. and so when Silver Star Motors - the local Mercedes-Benz dealership - made a lifelong dream a reality, what seemed at one point like a routine weekend suddenly looks like becoming one I'll never forget.

I arrived in Sao Paulo yesterday afternoon as a part of a group that includes other journalists, Daimler disciples and other interests as guests of Mercedes-Benz, for what the company is calling an exclusive opportunity to celebrate its success at tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix - the penultimate stop on the worldwide circuit.

You see, everything revolves around Mercedes-Benz these days as far as F1 is concerned. The company recently clinched their first Constructors' title and with their hotshot team of drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg darting their way to the climax of a season-long race for the Driver's Championship, there'll hardly be a better time to 'pop the bubbly'.

From First-Class tickets to the Brazilian city to an itinerary that promises total access before, during and after the big event, Mercedes-Benz seems to have spared no expense in their celebrations.

With the exception of overcast skies and terrible traffic, I haven't been able to see much of the city just yet, but there is time. My early impressions though are that Brazilians seem to have a sort of Caribbean vibe to them; always colourful and smiling, friendly folk.

My driver took me on a mini-tour of the city on the way from the airport, through less fancy, graffiti-adorned neighbourhoods and the more affluent areas of Sao Paulo. The recurring theme though is that there always seemed to be a smiling face.

The driver himself didn't do too much smiling when I threw him a jab about Brazil's 7-1 World Cup demolition at the hands of Germany.

Anyway, it's gonna be an interesting ride.

Hang on!