Heavy rain pounded the paddock at Interlagos on Thursday in an ominous prelude to the final grand prix of 2006.
In the rain, Michael Schumacher’s need to win his last ever race in order to have a chance of an eighth and final drivers’ title would rest near-exclusively on a wet weather improvement by tyre supplier Bridgestone.
But sources at the circuit on the outskirts of Sao Paulo insisted that the Japanese company has opted against bringing a new compound of wet weather tyre to Brazil, as it did two weeks ago at Suzuka.
Speculation about the rest of the weekend, however, is less gloomy, with paddock wags predicting a clearer sky for the three days of track action.
Before observers ran for the cover of the media centre, meanwhile, the nature of departing long-time Honda sponsor Lucky Strike’s final race in formula one was evident, with car bodywork in pitlane bearing words like ‘Last Blast’ and ‘Toodle-oo’.