A Brazilian Grand Prix was first held in 1972 at Interlagos, although it was not part of the Formula One World Championship, it was the first of many races held in Sao Paulo that would become one of the best loved races on the F1 championship calendar, but this could change soon.
Developments are underway in Brazil’s most famous city and one of the busiest metropolises in the world, Rio de Janeiro, for a brand new circuit designed by F1’s chosen track designer, Herman Tilke. And if it goes ahead, chances are that Sao Paulo will lose the GP to the new track.
The city of Rio de Janeiro has not had a race track since 2012, when the old Nelson Piquet Autodrome, in Jacarepaguá, was demolished for the construction of the Rio 2016 Olympic Park. A new racetrack was a commitment made by Brazilian authorities before the IOC (International Olympic Committee) due to this dismantling of the Piquet circuit, and already MotoGP has earmarked it for it’s Brazilian GP set for 2021.
Further, the mayor of Rio, the evangelical Pastor Marcelo Crivella, intends to announce before the world famous Rio carnival his main achievement of his administration: the transfer of the Formula 1 race from São Paulo to Rio.
Could this be true?
The bidding for the public/private partnership for the implementation, operation and maintenance of the autodrome of the Park, in the Deodoro region, will take place on February 21th and if successful, would be the first step toward the loss of Interlagos on the F1 calendar.
São Paulo, is at a continued risk of being the victim of unfortunate real estate speculation, and this has escalated again for 2019. Ongoing security risks of the race track are foremost on Liberty Media’s mind, with armed escorts being a common sight to protect the teams and VIPs during a GP weekend.
The new Rio track promises a safe environment with modern safety standard in place due to the freedom of being purpose built in an open space. With 20 corners, the 5.4 kilometre circuit will provide modern paddock facilities with easy access to the city for spectators, and unlike Interlagos – there’s less crime risk as there’s not a Favela located next door to the track.
The Rio carnival is set to being on the 1st of March 2019, so we may expect an announcement by the Rio mayor before then.