Motor Racing: 200,000 to pay respects

SAO PAULO came to a near standstill yesterday as Brazilians paid tribute to the former world motor racing champion, Ayrton Senna, killed in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix.

Huge crowds lined the streets from the airport to the city centre for a brief glimpse of Senna's coffin, which arrived in Sao Paulo at dawn on a flight from Paris.

At the airport, six Brazilian air force cadets carried the coffin off the plane, past a guard of honour and on to a fire engine. Some of the onlookers had painted their faces black for the occasion.

The coffin, draped in a Brazilian flag, was accompanied by a motorcade to the Sao Paulo legislative assembly, where it will lie in state until today's funeral.

A queue of people wanting to pay their last respects was formed early on Tuesday.

Authorities expect about 200,000 will pass the coffin.