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That same night, three Sauber engineers were robbed just outside the Interlagos track, and both attacks significantly heightened security concerns in the country preparing to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Attacks on drivers who stop at traffic lights or slow their cars in areas with intense traffic are not uncommon in Brazil, although no incidents have been reported near the track so far this year.

Virtually all teams provide their drivers and crew with armored vehicles to use on the trip from their hotels to the track. They also often provide drivers trained in avoidance techniques.

Sao Paulo state police said nearly 4,000 police officers have been deployed to maintain public safety near the Interlagos track this year. It wasn’t immediately clear if that was more than in 2010.


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