After finally admitting that his 2010 title defence had slipped away, Jenson Button had a terrifying journey from the Interlagos circuit back to his hotel in the Sao Paulo suburb of Morumbi.
A few minutes into the drive in a bullet-proof Mercedes driven by a special armed chauffeur, bandits brandishing machine guns attempted to rob the 2009 world champion and his entourage.
The local driver sped away, smashing into five other cars, but McLaren confirmed that neither Button nor the other passengers - his father, manager and trainer - were hurt.
"My driver was a legend," Button told the Mail on Sunday. "He bounced off about five cars. We were driving over the top of them. It was very scary."
Earlier, the 30-year-old conceded after a disappointing qualifying session that his title chances are now essentially dead.
"Slipping away? It had pretty much slipped away before this race," he insisted.
Button also reported that he is unlikely to be able to help the championship challenge of his teammate Lewis Hamilton from 11th on the grid.
"It's pretty difficult when you're so far behind, so if Lewis gets a good start in I'm not going to be able to help in that way," he said.