Liberty look to drop Interlagos, move to Rio

TJ13 reported on a potential move that would see the Brazilian Grand Prix move away from Interlagos, the home of Grand Prix racing in Brazil for many Formula 1 fans.

Back in February when we wrote the piece, it appeared to be mostly a desire for the mayor, Marcelo Crivella, to achieve a degree of prestige bringing F1 back to Rio de Janeiro. But now TJ13 understands that there has been a serious nod of interest from both F1 and MotoGP to bring races to Rio.

According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, a media outlet based in Rio de Janeiro, letters of intent from Liberty Media’s Chase Carey and Sean Bratches, along with MotoGP’s owners, mean that we could see a race there “in the very near future”.

One of the letters signed by Sean Bratches, director of commercial operations for F1, to the mayor of Rio, Marcelo Crivella,  and the governor of the city, Wilson Jose Witzel.



In it, Bratches talks about his expectation of working with the city of Rio de Janeiro soon, and asks for a conversation on the subject with secretaries and directors, in person or by telephone.

The letter also cites the willingness to work with the Rio Motorsports consortium, the only candidate in the call for tenders for the construction of the new Rio Deodoro circuit, which we must stress is still under initial planning.

Herman Tilke, F1’s chosen track designer, has allegedly put forward interest in the project and appears a linchpin to the whole affair.

Finally, Chase Carey himself appears to have written to the President of Brazil, showing support to continue racing in the South American country in the future, whatever that circuit might be.

It appears that it’s not just F1 that’s interested in racing at the new circuit, but also MotoGP’s owners, Dorna Sports have recently written their letter of support to the Rio mayor for the new proposed circuit.

But there might be a significant threat to Liberty Media, Tilke and Dorna Sport’s plans.

Deodoro’s land, the area offered in compensation for the demolition of the old Jacarepaguá track, is where the Camboatá Forest is located, a place that has already had its first vote approved the creation of an Environmental Protection Area.

Such an unpopular move away from Interlagos must carry significant reasons for doing so, as Liberty are always far from wishing to displease their market group, or that’s how they like to be perceived.

But from Liberty’s standpoint, not only is there the desire to bring F1 to a bigger audience and to a bigger metropolis, there chosen modus operandi, but also a double benefit not obvious to those outside of F1.

Brazil and in particular Interlagos, are very much an intrinsic part of the Bernie Ecclestone era, so forcing a move out of such a stronghold carries much weight for Liberty. The Americans must see this as an opportunity to prove they’re a serious outfit should they pull it off.



Astonishing move: Interlagos set to lose Brazilian Grand Prix?

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 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…… READ MORE

One response to “Liberty look to drop Interlagos, move to Rio

  1. Pingback: Brazilian President points finger at Liberty over dropping Sao Paulo - thejudge13·

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