Oct 10, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
The Brazilian Grand Prix is set to remain at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos after it was confirmed that a new contract has been signed with the circuit and officials in Sao Paulo.
Interlagos has hosted the race since 1990 and witnessed many notable moments over the years. Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel all be crowned world champion since 2004 when the race moved to an end-of-season slot on the calendar. However, despite being a favorite among fans and the drivers, the race was thought to be at threat due to the quality of the facilities at the circuit. Bernie Ecclestone suggested back in March that the Brazilian Grand Prix could move to Rio de Janeiro to coincide with the Olympic Games that will be held in the city in 2016, but a new deal has been brokered.
As a result, the race will remain at Interlagos until 2020 with the race officials agreeing to the construction of a new pit complex on the straight between turns three and four, which is a key part of the deal.
“The teams have long craved a better infrastructure to accommodate them,” Mayor of Sao Paulo Fernando Haddad explained to Globo Esporte. “The fans will benefit from a more modern race track that makes Interlagos and Sao Paulo the best place to host Formula One.”
Ecclestone also explained his satisfaction with the deal, although he did concede that the upgrades were pivotal in the agreement.
“I’m very excited that the mayor agreed to the investments we asked for many years ago,” he said. “If this does not happen, we would have to consider not having the race here. We are very happy now.”
Despite the future of the race being secure, Brazil is facing the prospect of not having a home driver on the grid for the first time in over forty years next season with Felipe Massa yet to secure his future in the sport.
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