Mar del plata beach

Mar del plata new home of the Argentine Grand Prix it seems, photo by Leandro Kibisz

Argentina is close to signing a deal to stage a 2013 Argentine Grand Prix, however not as expected at the Velociudad Speedcity circuit  being built to Formula One standards 80km from Buenos Aires but at a circuit to be built 400km away at Mar del Plata, a coastal resort city.

As for the Speedcity circuit perhaps the fact that a company other than Hermann Tilke’s Tilke GMBh engineering company are designing and building it has upset Bernie as it Populous the company behind the circuit were hoping to be ready to host Formula One from 2015, maybe this was too long.

The new race will be the first Argentine Grand Prix since 1998 which was in Buenos Aires at the Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez: a circuit that first hosted Formula One world championship races in the 1950s. Argentina is in a better economic position now than in 1998 though and President Crisitna Fernadez certainly seems to be good at giving the Argentine people what they want; she announced today that the Argentine Grand Prix would run for three years initially starting in 2013.

It had been suggested that Argentina and Mexico might alternate races but it may be that with both countries needing to invest in new Formula One standard circuits they will want a Grand Prix every year, at least until they break even on the investment.

Of course as always we will keep you updated with more details as we get them, including news from the Formula One camp that my give a better idea of just how far developed plans and contractual agreements are.