The 1957 Argentine Grand Prix

The 1957 Argentine Grand Prix at autodromo Oscar Alfredo Galvez, Original image Public Domain edited version copyright D.Cousin




















There hasn’t been a Grand Prix in Argentina since 1998, however, unlike many Grand Prix, the event wasn’t dropped by Bernie Ecclestone but due to financial problems the track and Argentinean Department of Sports were having. The track then was the Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez at Buenos Aires: a classic track that first saw Championship Formula One in 1953 and then on and off right up to the 1990s with a few configuration changes.


The Argentine Grand Prix may now be returning though at a different circuit, though a little further from Buenos Aires the new circuit will still be close to the Argentine capital. Significantly the project isn’t dependent on a Grand Prix though and it looks like it will be going ahead anyway as a centre for Motor Racing and also car testing in a country with a great history in Motorsport including Formula One.


The Velociudad Speedcity circuit will be built to category one standards, i.e. suitable for Formula One, it is understood, and there are hopes that it could host a Grand Prix as early as 2015. This would be a second race in South America of course and it can be assumed that as in the 1990s it will be back to back with the Brazilian Grand Prix if the event goes ahead.


At the same time that Bernie Ecclestone has said little about an Argentine Grand Prix it has been discussed that Argentina and Mexico could well share a Grand Prix in alternate years. This kind of agreement is currently Bernie Ecclestone’s preferred way of getting more venues on to the calender, following the success of the German Grand Prix being shared between the Hockenheimring and Nurburgring.


The fact that the new Argentine circuit is not being built specifically for Formula One has also meant that the company behind it have had more of a free reign over who designs the circuit: meaning this could be the first new circuit for years not to be designed by Tilke. The company Populous though who are behind the circuit and doing the design in-house are not without Formula One circuit design experience having been responsible for the new layout at Silverstone and the new Pit Complex and other ongoing works there as well. The company have also designed stadiums such as Wembley and London’s 2012 Olympic Stadia.


Populous are developing the Velociudad Speedcity circuit as their own private concern but hope to find a promoter to organise a Grand Prix. Interest in Formula One is still high in Argentina the country that produced F1 greats Carlos Reutemann, Jose Gonzalez and of course Juan Manuel Fangio.