Sao Paulo: Jenson Button has escaped unharmed following an armed attack on the car carrying the reigning Formula One world champion and his father John away from the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo.
Button’s manager Richard Goddard and trainer Mike Collier were also in the vehicle when the incident occurred after the qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old, being chauffeured in an armoured vehicle with a police driver at the helm, managed to escape the assailants prior to returning to his hotel.
A statement issued by Button’s McLaren team read: “On Saturday evening on the way back from the Interlagos circuit to Morumbi (Sao Paulo), armed would-be assailants made an attempt to approach the car that was carrying Jenson Button.
“Neither Jenson nor the other occupants of the car were hurt. The other occupants were John Button (Jenson’s father), Mike Collier (Jenson’s physio) and Richard Goddard (Jenson’s manager).
“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had provided both Jenson and team-mate Lewis Hamilton with reinforced armoured vehicles driven by police drivers, who had been trained in avoidance techniques and were armed.
“The police driver of Jenson’s vehicle reacted swiftly and, using avoidance techniques, rapidly forced his way through the traffic, taking Jenson and the other occupants of the car immediately away from any danger and back to their hotel.
“The Sao Paulo authorities have also acted efficiently and will be providing additional security to transfer Jenson and other senior Vodafone McLaren Mercedes personnel to the Interlagos circuit for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.”