Brazilian Grand Prix to move to Rio in 2020

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix, Saturday – Wolfgang Wilhelm

By Jastina Golopolosova | The Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix will be moved from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro in 2020. This was announced at a press conference by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro himself. We take a closer look.

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A letter with proposing the return Formula 1 stage in Rio de Janeiro after a break of more than thirty years was sent to the authorities by Sean Bratches, the commercial director of the competition. In addition to Liberty Media, the Spanish Dorna Sports and the organiser of the MotoGP also showed interest in racing there.

From the upcoming season, Formula 1 will be held at the Deodoro circuit in Rio de Janeiro, not at Interlagos located in Sao Paulo. It is expected that the track, designed by renowned racing architect Hermann Tilke, will be located on the territory of a former military base, previously used for competitions at the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, said:

“The leadership of Formula 1 would like to keep the Grand Prix in Brazil, but the track in Sao Paulo has financial problems and large debts. We will build a new track without spending budget funds for this and create around seven thousand new workplaces in six or seven months. This is very useful for Rio de Janeiro and for Brazil as a whole.”

The track will be named after Ayrton Senna.

Interlagos, also known as the Jose Carlos Pace circuit, hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix from 1972, with breaks for the 1978 season and the period from 1981 to 1989, when the races were held on the Jacarepagua circuit in Rio de Janeiro.

For the first time, the track was opened in 1940, but already ten years later the track was obsolete for the banal reason for the lack of necessary communications. All this led to the fact that the circuit was closed until 1970 when the authorities took up it’s restructuring. Redevelopment and serious reconstruction of the racetrack were made in 1988, and four years earlier the track was renamed in honour of Jose Pace.

Interlagos took various races since 1970, and since then has been a symbol of the Brazilian Sao Paulo and Formula 1 itself. This track is also very popular among local people, which generally appreciates Formula 1 because it gave the country famous and talented racers.

The most devoted person of Interlagos is the famous Ayrton Senna, a man who brought unheard-of joy to the city in 1991-1993 when he won on this track. In 2008 and 2006, another Brazilian racer Felipe Massa celebrated his victory at Interlagos. It is worth noting that Interlagos is one of the few classic tracks of the modern Formula 1 and the track is located at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level, the reduced pressure caused by the location of the track always has a direct impact on the engine performance indicator of the car, the track itself differs from others in having a large number of complex internal turns.

Many former Formula 1 drivers praise Interlagos, for example, the famous Argentine racer Manuel Fangio called Interlagos his home. Therefore, many current Formula 1 drivers were surprised to hear the news of the transfer of the Grand Prix to Rio de Janeiro.

Sebastian Vettel, four-time Formula 1 World champion, said:

“This news was a shock to me. Interlagos is an amazing track with a rich history, so it would be a shame to lose it.”

Carlos Sainz, driver for McLaren, said:

“The main thing is that the track in Rio is a worthy replacement for Interlagos. If they build a cool track and interesting races will take place on it, then we will not unlikely to miss Interlagos much.“

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