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Brazilian GP set to leave Interlagos?

Mar 30, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT


Bernie Ecclestone has cast doubt on Interlagos hosting the Brazilian Grand Prix beyond 2015.

The historic track in Sao Paulo has become a favorite among drivers and fans alike, with the high speed straights creating some thrilling racing. Interlagos has slotted in towards the end of the F1 calendar since 2004, with the championship being decided in Brazil on six occasions since then. However, Ecclestone could be set to terminate the track’s contract in favor of a race in Rio.

“I’ve been unhappy with Sao Paulo for some time, because the facilities need a big facelift,” Ecclestone told the Mail on Sunday.

“We could be in Rio for the Olympic year.”

Rio is set to host the Olympic Games in 2016, and the city will also play a large part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, making the rate of development in the area rapid. Ecclestone is keen on taking advantage of this, and he has already negotiated the idea with the mayor of the city.

“The mayor has told me they can get it done.”

F1 supremo Ecclestone has frequently toyed with the idea of locating a Grand Prix around an Olympic park, with the Russian Grand Prix (planned for 2014) set to take place around the site of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Ecclestone also lobbied for the rights to the Olympic stadium in London in order to stage a race around the Stratford area.

However, moving away from Interlagos is unlikely to be a popular move, but it could be the impetus for the track owners to upgrade the facilities to meet Ecclestone’s standards.

  1. apexassassin - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I read elsewhere that Interlagos was going to revamp the track and facilities starting in 2015, with a new pit area on what is currently the straight between turns 3 and 4 and remodeling the current pit area for support races.

    Given the recent deaths there in other categories I’d expect to see massive changes around the circuit to maintain it’s Grade 1 rating.

    Hey Luke: What’s the latest on the NJ circuit?

    • Luke Smith - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      NJ news has gone quiet for now, but last I heard it’s still all good to go for 2014 – let’s hope it does!

      Interesting thought on Interlagos there. I think the changes you detailed could give a new lease of life to the circuit. Silverstone did the same, and went from being dropped from the calendar to being one of the permanent fixtures.

      • apexassassin - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Ah I heard work had resumed in NJ with all the permissions and studies being completed but that they are nowhere near ready to start the necessary road work… I was hoping that was more true than rumor. Generally I’m never pro-NJ but that layout has the potential to be one exciting road course so I’m for it strictly because it looks very fast and maybe a little scary.

        As for Interlagos, when then plans for the improvements were made public I recall Bernie having talks with Buenos Aires for a short 2-3 year deal on a street race at the seaside city, Mar del Plata. Though I believe there is a circuit called Velociudad Argentina in Zárate that was trying to get in on the deal… never heard anything more though.

        I have nothing against the race moving to Rio for a few years either, just as long as Interlagos gets renovated and back on the schedule.

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