Start, Interlagos, 2019

Interlagos to hold renamed Sao Paulo Grand Prix for next five years

2021 F1 calendar

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Formula 1 has confirmed Brazil’s round of the world championship will return to the calendar at the same venue but under a new name.

This year’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit, which was due to be the last in its current contract, was called off due to the pandemic. However the provisional 2021 F1 calendar included a race at the Sao Paulo track when it was revealed last month.

Formula 1 has confirmed today the 2021 race will be the first in a new five-year contract for the circuit. However from next year the title of Brazilian Grand Prix, first used for a championship event in 1973, will not return. The race will be known as the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

A new promoter has taken over the running of the race from Tamas Rohonyi, who has close ties to Formula 1’s former CEO Bernie Ecclestone. Brasil Motorsport, ultimately controlled by Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala, has taken charge and given Alan Adler the job of promoting the event.

“Brazil is a very important market for Formula 1 with devoted fans and a long history in the sport,” said Formula 1’s chairman and CEO Chase Carey. “The race in Brazil has always been a highlight for our fans, the drivers and our partners and we look forward to providing Formula 1 fans with an exciting race at Interlagos in 2021 and over the next five years.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Interlagos to hold renamed Sao Paulo Grand Prix for next five years”

  1. I still wouldn’t mind losing Brazil from the championship altogether for the time being.

    1. @jerejj Why? Interlagos (by whatever name) is one of the best circuits and races (rain being fairly frequent too). And South America is hardly over-represented.

      1. @david-br Mainly to do with the safety outside the track boundaries.

        1. @jerejj I guessed as much. Living in Brazil, I can’t deny it’s not an issue.

          1. I hear you fellow brazilian…

        2. @jerejj
          I don’t know why all this prejudice about Brazil in general. As someone who lived in Sao Paulo for nearly 2 years and it happened that I was visiting Avenida Interlagos at least once a week (sometimes I spend the whole week there) to work in an IT firm just near the track. I have never witnessed anything out of the ordinary as the level of violence in Interlagos is not comparable to other regions of the country.

          It’s true that Sao Paulo is considered a dangerous city in which armed robbery is frequent. However, from my experience it’s not hard to stay out of trouble either if you want to. Another thing is, if F1 is embracing diversity then Sao Paulo ,which is one of the most diverse cities in the world, is the place to be and the locals (Paulistas) are simply awesome people.

          As someone who happened to be checked, sometimes even bulled countless times in many countries just because of my race. I enjoyed working in Sao Paulo more than any other foreign city and I didn’t have any kind of those problems and I have worked in big developed cities like Paris, Brussels, Stockholm…

          1. @jimfromus Of course, not the only case over the years.

          2. @jimfromus
            I find it extremely amusing that you Jim from the US talking about armed robbery. The United States is second only to Brazil in the list of countries hosting a GP with regard to firearm-related death rate of course without including mass shooting incidents, police violence… So don’t you think that we should also ditch the US GP from the F1 calendar :)

          3. In this case, personnel have been targeted for several decades. There was that incident in 2017, but there have been at least two other major hijacking attempts in the past that targeted drivers, Rosberg had most of his possessions stolen one year and mechanics have been attacked.

            There does seem to be a perception that, as people around F1 are all assumed to be wealthy, they are more likely to be targeted by criminals. Your perception may thus not be entirely representative of another group that is likely to be disproportionately targeted.

          4. anon,
            There was also an incident involving Jenson Button in 2010 after Saturday qualifying session on his way to his hotel when he was threatened by an armed men and managed to escape unharmed. I have to agree with you that F1 might be specifically targeted by criminals and violence can increase in Sampa as a result which is on the reasons why teams often use reinforced armoured vehicles to transport team members.

          5. Not related to the race, but even Ecclestone’s mother-in-law was kidnapped.

  2. What is going on with these GP names? They represented something, now it seems Liberty will take any name in exchange for some money. Same nonsense with the “Mexico City” GP, in that case for the benefit of a politician.

    1. In this particular case it’s that Bernie sold the other guy the rights to host the “Brazilian Grand Prix” so they’re doing an end-run.

    2. As I understand it, it is because the actual city (or region in Brazil’s case) now will be paying the race fees, so they get their name on the event.

      1. So they’ve successfully defeated the tree-hating president and are rubbing it in. Good, he deserves it.

    3. Hi @J_Olivier and @bascb in my opinion it’s another aspect of the rivalry between president Jair Bolsonaro and São Paulo state governor João Doria. As @davewillisporter mentioned below, Bolsonaro wanted the race moved to Rio, which would involve building a new circuit, loss of green space and probably lots of money on bribes and corruption.

      Now that Doria together with São Paulo city mayor Bruno Covas secured this contract, it’s understandable that they want to promote themselves with a change of name and distant the F1 event from president Bolsonaro.

    4. It looks to me like they are clearing the way for a Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio.

    5. They will rename the United States Grand Prix the Travis County GP.

    6. It’s just “Boring Names Grand Prix”, or “Not A Country’s Name Grand Prix”.

  3. Good. One of the very few tracks left on the calendar with any character.

  4. Fantastic news! Great circuit, truly, and really fun to drive in games. So much character and a unique look and feel and with a lot of history attached too seeing as it comes at or near the end of the championship so often. Great news!

  5. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    16th December 2020, 21:37

    Bolsonaro wanted to move it to Rio. There’s likely some legaleze in the naming of it. Personally, not being a fan of Bolsonaro or deforestation and being a huge Senna fan and Massa’s history at this track, AND it’s a great track, I am glad this decision was made. Everyone will call it the Brazilian GP even if it legally can’t be called that. A win for common sense over corruption.

  6. Why is the Canadian GP not with the other America GPs or why aren’t the America GPs with the Canadian GP?

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      16th December 2020, 22:13


    2. @jimfromus They tend to have the calendar the way it is in order to try & get the best weather conditions in each region. That isn’t just to avoid rain delays but also as the race promoters often feel that holding a race in that regions summer time or at least when conditions are likely to be dry/warm helps attract larger attendance. And you also have them working to try & avoid any clashes with other local events.

      Montreal later in the year put’s it in Canada’s winter & the Montreal region can have some really harsh winters. Later in the year would put the race at risk of been affected by very cold temperatures, Very heavy rain & even ice/heavy snow.

      On the other side however Texas earlier in the year can be brutally hot. That is part of why the Indycar race at Texas Motor Speedway held late May/Early June is always a night race.

      Mexico could probably be put with either race but I think the promoters like it falling around the ‘day of the dead’ holiday as they feel it helps attendance.

  7. Safety for the teams aside, it is a wonderful track. It happily produces a better race year on year than Abu Dhabi etc ever has.

  8. Hurrah! Not only because it’s one of the best tracks, but also because hopefully this means the new track in Rio and the associated deforestation is dead in the water.

  9. 2020, Saved.

    Absolutely brilliant news. Beautiful atmospheric circuit in a characterful city.

  10. I’m very pleased about this. The circuit has produced many great races over the years. It’s got a bit if everything, history and character.

    There are safety and security issues re the area it in but maybe these will be improved as well with new promoters.

  11. I was worried about Interlagos leaving the calendar when hearing news of the Rio track. This is great news. Interlagos is one of my top 5 races on the calendar sadly missing this year.

  12. Positive news, but the circuit itself seems too short in recent years – especially given the specific of current cars. I would love to see some revised parts of the old Interlagos being added, but the promoters will probably be glad to have some money for basic maintenance.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      17th December 2020, 16:25

      With you on that one.

      Here’s an overlay of old and new circuits. Which parts would you bring back?

      Click to see circuit

  13. Don’t like the name.

  14. Great news that Interlagos will stay in the calendar. Not so good news that Grand Prix title is changed – I think races should always be named after country unless there’s multiple races in the same country. To the recent calendar it would also mean that Abu Dhabi Grand Prix should be United Arab Emirates Grand Prix.

  15. Sounds like there are going to be two Brazil races in future.

    Great circuit. One of the best on the calendar. Certainly throws up better races than classics like Spa, Silverstone and Suzuka.

  16. How about five years worth of improvements? This old school circuit has stood the test of time. How about the layout itself? What tweaks are in store? Will pit road now move to the back straight? What is known about improvements and this five year contract?

    1. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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