Formula One yet to settle on future Brazilian GP location

18 November 2019 - 14:51 By Reuters
The McLaren MP4/4 of Ayrton Senna is driven on a show run during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The McLaren MP4/4 of Ayrton Senna is driven on a show run during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 14, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Formula One wants to keep the Brazilian Grand Prix on the calendar, but where South America's only race will be held after 2020, when the contract with Sao Paulo ends, remains uncertain.

Formula One chairman Chase Carey, who represents US-based commercial rights holders Liberty Media Corp, told reporters at last weekend's race at Interlagos that all options were being evaluated.

"We have interests - we have multiple partners that are interested. It is certainly our goal to continue to race in Brazil for a long time," said Carey.

"Generally, there isn't a specific deadline. Our general practice has been to announce the schedule for the next season around the summer."

Interlagos is confirmed for 2020, but Rio de Janeiro is a candidate for the year after.

Sao Paulo wants to keep the race. State governor Joao Doria said there will be a meeting with Liberty in the first week of December, when a formal proposal will be presented by the city.

Sao Paulo currently pays no fee to Formula One - unlike others around the world, who pay as much as 60-million euros (over R980m) for their races - but Doria said this would change.

"We are going to pay the fee in the next contract. We will have private money coming in, private investments as well," said the governor.

Local paper O Estado de S.Paulo reported that the city - the home of late triple world champion Ayrton Senna - was willing to pay $20m (roughly R295.3m) as a fee. There were reports that Rio had offered more.

"Our agreements have multiple aspects about them. They are not only about the fee. We have many elements that go into an agreement. They are quite complex," said Carey.

The city of Sao Paulo, governed by Doria's ally Bruno Covas, is set to sell the rights to manage Interlagos for 33 years to the private sector on January 8.

The plan is to have activities all year round in the circuit's area, as well as to build a hotel, exposition area and possibly a shopping mall.

There were talks during the weekend about other locations in smaller cities outside the Rio-Sao Paulo axis. Carey declined to give any more details regarding the 'multiple partners' that have shown interest in hosting the event.

The area around Interlagos has grown a lot in the last years and traffic is a major issue. Security has also been a problem, although this has improved.

The proposed Rio location is very far from the city centre, in a region lacking hotels and transport infrastructure. It is also a forested area and will need an environmental licence before any construction can start. 


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