Start, Interlagos, 2018

Sao Paulo governor dismisses claim Brazilian GP will move to Rio in 2020

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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The governor of Sao Paulo has dismissed claims the Brazilian Grand Prix could move from the city’s Interlagos circuit to a new venue in Rio de Janeiro next year.

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro recently claimed the race will move from the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace to the Deodoro area in Rio. The new circuit would be named after Ayrton Senna, and be built in time for the 2020 F1 season.

However in a press conference today Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria questioned how a circuit could be built from scratch and signed off in that timeframe, and where the investment from it would come from.

Sebastian Vettel said yesterday it would be a “shock” if the race left Interlagos. The first world championship Brazilian Grand Prix was held at the track in 1973, and the championship has raced there every season since 1990.

“I think Interlagos is a great place, a lot of history,” he said. “I think the old track at Interlagos is even better than the current one but I couldn’t think of anything other than maybe the track being a little bit short that Interlagos is almost missing.”

Bolsonaro, who took office four months ago, has ties to Rio, where he spent 20 years as a councillor and later federal deputy before becoming president. Rio’s Jacarepagua circuit held the race on 10 occasions, most recently in 1989, but was demolished to create the infrastructure to hold the 2016 Olympic games.

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19 comments on “Sao Paulo governor dismisses claim Brazilian GP will move to Rio in 2020”

  1. great, I like Interlagos, it always creates good races especially in the wet. And it’s got history, which F1 should try to keep as much as possible.

  2. I knew it. I never bought the claims of the president in the first place given the existing contract of the Interlagos circuit that still covers next season, so as I pointed out before if a swap between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo were to happen then it’d take place in 2021 at the very earliest.

  3. I like Interlagos. It has provided some great and memorable action throughout F1 history.
    If you ask me, I’d like to see Zandvoort, Brands Hatch or Zolder as European GP and a circuit like the old Kyalami or the Turkish one back, and get rid of the really boring tracks like Sochi and the current US one.

    Well, for pure racing reasons I’ve always wanted Monaco out too, but this aaaaaaain’t gonna happen…
    There are more chances for a “god” to visit the earth than getting rid of the worst racing track in the world.

    1. @ioannisk COTA a boring circuit, LOL? It’s one of the best modern era tracks in F1 at present. I quite rarely see anyone being critical towards the Circuit of the Americas. I’d rather get rid of Albert Park, or Hungaroring than COTA.

      1. @jerejj What can I say man? People tend to differ. That’s my taste, mostly because of these annoying continuous S’s.
        Fair enough?

        1. @ioannisk But the S’s are the most exciting part of the lap even if they’re a copy of Silverstone’s Maggots-Becketts combination rather than original. Copy or original, I still always find it fascinating to drive through these type of corners on any given circuit that has them.

      2. @jerejj Damn, we need an edit Button or an edit Mansell. LOL. Had it been a curve with an S in the middle, it would have been amazing. As it is, I think it’s great for MotoGP for instance. For US, as I am really old on F1, I prefer either the street circuits like Phoenix or the normal Portland one, where in 1997 Mark Blundell had the closest win in Indycar history.

      3. @jerejj, gotta side with @ioannisk here, man. I don’t like it very much also. Though, unlike him, I think T1 to T6 is ok. T17-18 is kinda fun, but that’s all. I mean, I don’t feel the entire lap is exciting, like Interlagos, for instance.

        I’d pick Albert Park over COTA at any day, as long as the Brabham straight was to be revived. Without it, both could go to limbo for all I care.

        What I’d really see fit for an American GP would be the Daytona road-track, simply beautiful. Only a dream, though.

    2. jamesluke2488
      10th May 2019, 23:08

      Brands Hatch is two short and would require extensive work to its run off areas before it was even in with a chance of F1, Donington Park is better equipped but would still require alot of work. Only place in the UK with any chance of holding a F1 race is Silverstone.

  4. I think almost all of us love the track, it’s a fantastic little circuit, and it always brings drama to races… but isn’t the surroundings a constant problem? journalists and teams have been very vocal (and why wouldn’t they?) about the lack of security, robberies, and even worse things happening to them…

    1. Felipe Ribeiro
      11th May 2019, 5:40

      Yeah the surroundings are horrible in São Paulo, but Rio is 100 times worst, the city was taken by militia and drug gangs, there are several shootings per day there and I bet we could easily have someone important killed if we were to have a GP there. Rio is worst than Iraq or any other war zone in the world today.

  5. Well, as someone who grew up watching all kinds of races in Interlagos (since when the legendary old circuit was used), I can say that the track location is not the best one, it’s in a part of the city that became more and more dangerous with each passing year, there’s no great facilities in the circuit or in the surroundings, no close train / subway stations, etc., but none of this matters, because this circuit has character, elevation changes, a dynamic flow on the circuit, not a lot room for errors, runs anti clockwise, the corners have actual names and not numbers, and it haven’t been touched by Tilke. There’s no similar track on current calendar, and to top of that, this is a track where weather is unpredictable, and the history and all it’s race heritage is palpable in the air there. I for one am not opposed to Rio having a Tilkedrome with great facilities and Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But I won’t trade a soulless Tilkedrome track for Interlagos, never. The ideal would be to have 2 races, or in worst case alternate races, but Interlagos cannot be dropped; F1 will be diminished if this happens.

    1. @mmertens
      “but Interlagos cannot be dropped”, +1
      “because this circuit has character”, +2
      “this is a track where weather is unpredictable”, +3
      “and it haven’t been touched by Tilke”, +18546297

      “F1 will be diminished if this happens”
      Imola was dropped and nothing happened. Silverstone was/is about to. Every year we hear about dropping Spa.
      Amazing and historical tracks have been ignored. “New markets” are welcome. Money is their god.
      If it wasn’t for money, Monaco should have never been in the calendar.

      1. @ioannisk The thing with Imola is it died along with Ratzenberger & Senna. The Imola that was dropped, it was just a mercy shot.

        Real shame, because IMO soft-walls at both Tamburello and Villeneuve would be enough to solve the problem. But hey, we can’t bring back so infamous corners, right?

        It’s something really sad, like Ostkurve, Hella-Licht, etc.

        @mmertens You are spot on, sir! However,

        I can say that the track location is not the best one, it’s in a part of the city that became more and more dangerous with each passing year, there’s no great facilities in the circuit or in the surroundings, no close train / subway stations, etc.

        that Deodoro track would have the very same problems, if not worse.

        Regardless, Interlagos cannot be dropped. It’s one of the best tracks of the calendar, and it’s just a fraction of the real one. Those elevation changes are the secret of a proper track, something that most of those boring tilkedromes lack.

        Hope it remains.

        1. Indeed , Deodoro location will need an overhauled public service as well, but I believe if the tilkedrome project goes ahead this will be surely done, the same was done for Olympic new venues there. But I’m the same page as you for sure. Interlagos must stay

        2. @niefer
          Soft-walls or a good amount of rubber was the solution indeed. Such a beautiful track the way it was. Ratzenberger’s accident had nothing to do with the track itself. All I can remember from Tamburello is a somewhat soft Riccardo Patrese’s accident and a horrific Gerhard Berger’s one, but it was initiated long before Tamburello.

          Not fair the way it was handled. Not fair.

  6. Props to VET, he knows stuff.

    The discussion regarding Brazil should be at reviving the old track only. Half of it is incredible already, the full one would be bliss on that majorly boring calendar.

    Also, Interlagos is already heritage alongside Suzuka now. Both cannot be dropped. Ever.

    1. @niefer I could agree on extending the track length, but I’m not sure I’d agree with the last paragraph of this venue being on the same line as the likes of Suzuka, Spa, Silverstone, etc. I don’t regard it a heritage circuit in the same sense as those, though.

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