The Brazilian Grand Prix is set to move from Interlagos as early as next year – with a new circuit under construction in Rio.
Always a popular race with fans and drivers, the future of the Interlagos circuit as a Formula One Grand Prix venue is under serious threat following confirmation from Mayor Marcello Crivella that Rio have agreed to host F1 from 2020, on a purpose built new circuit set to be named after the country’s most famous driver – Ayrton Senna.
The announcement was made during a ceremony marking the signing of an agreement to use the formal military site in Rio for construction of the new circuit, and was further backed up by Presidential comments that suggest Formula One could be arriving at the venue as early as 2020.
“A new motor-racing track is going to be built. The construction will take six to seven months and the Brazil Grand Prix will be held in Rio de Janeiro next year” said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Formula One has long been keen to explore alternatives to the Interlagos venue following a spate of safety concerns regarding personal attacks experienced by Grand Prix fans and personnel around the circuit perimeter, and the new Ayrton Senna Autodromo has been identified as the key to retaining a Brazilian Grand Prix on the F1 schedule.
Although President Bolsonaro claims the race will move next year, Interlagos hold a contract until the conclusion of the 2020 season, and it will certainly be a big ask to develop the new track within a 12-month window required to be race ready for the traditional end-of-season slot the Brazilian Grand Prix currently holds. New race in 2021? Seems more than likely and it will spell the end of a long and impressive history in the sport for the beautiful Interlagos circuit.
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