F1 to usurp IndyCar in Rio (2nd Update)
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.
|New Rio circuit. Rio de Janeiro played IndyCar like a fiddle to get F1 to come instead|
The Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix will move to a new purpose-built circuit in Rio de Janeiro, likely to be named after Ayrton Senna, the country’s president has revealed.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro signed an agreement with Rio de Janeiro’s mayor and governor that paves the way for the construction of a Formula 1 racetrack.
The motor sports track will be located on land ceded by the armed forces in Deodoro, where 2016 Olympic competitions including rugby, basketball and mountain biking took place. The city will award the project to the winning bidder in 45 days, Mayor Marcelo Crivella told reporters. Construction would wrap up some seven months thereafter, Bolsonaro said.
The president subsequently tweeted that the track would be named after Ayrton Senna, the celebrated Brazilian racing car driver who died in 1994. The FIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The circuit’s construction will be completed before the end of the year and financed in its entirety by private money and will also target a MotoGP race.
“The management of F1 has decided to maintain a grand prix in Brazil, but Sao Paulo has become impractical because of the event’s public financial support and the debt that exists over there,” president Bolsonaro told reporters.
“The new racetrack will be built in six or seven months. The hotel sector will be happy, the state economy as well since it will be six of seven thousands jobs generation.
“It is good for both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.”
04/27/19 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today.
F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches has written to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in support of moving the Brazilian grand prix to Rio.
O Globo newspaper reports that Bratches also sent the letter to Rio de Janeiro governor Wilson Witzel and mayor Marcelo Crivella asking for meetings "in person or by telephone".
Apparently, moves are afoot to build a circuit in Rio that could replace the aging Interlagos track in Sao Paulo.
The newspaper also said contact with the Rio authorities has been made by Dorna, the MotoGP owner, as well as F1 circuit architect Hermann Tilke.
The circuit is proposed for Deodoro, a neighborhood in Rio's west zone.
Bratches said in Baku: "I can confirm the letter."
O Globo also quoted an official of a company called Rio Motorsports as saying: "If construction works are completed by September 2020, formula one competitions can take place there in November."
F1's chief executive visited Rio de Janeiro and met with city officials in November last year. (GMM)
11/18/18 (GMM) Rio de Janeiro has emerged as a potential future F1 race host, after rumors of an IndyCar race there emerged, apparently a ruse to lure F1 instead.
With Interlagos to be privatized and Liberty Media scrutinizing the expiring contract that was negotiated by Bernie Ecclestone, a cloud hangs over the current Brazilian grand prix venue.
"We are thinking of replacing a number of existing races with unfavorable contracts with new races that offer better entertainment," F1 chief executive Chase Carey said last week.
In that context, Brazil's Globo reported that Carey recently visited Rio de Janeiro, amid rumors the city is interested in securing a race for 2021.
American Carey reportedly met with Rio governor Luiz Fernando Pezao and other local officials to discuss a circuit to be build in the district of Deodoro.
"Shortly after the race at Interlagos, Carey slept in the Marvelous City and had a long meeting schedule on Monday," correspondent Fred Sabino reported.
Carey reportedly told the governor: "When I woke up in Rio and saw the sea, I realized that it could be a good idea to bring formula one to the city."