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World Cup, Olympics and now F1 could come to Rio - March 28, 2013 by admin
Surrounded by the city, the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace

Surrounded by the city, the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, photo by Marlon Hammes

Rio de Janeiro could host yet another Blue Riband Sport event with the possibility of the Brazilian Grand Prix moving from it’s current home at Interlagos, Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro by 2016, the same year the city will host the Olympics.

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, otherwise known as Interlagos, though seen as one of the great circuits of the world, does have some issues. It needs modernising and space even for this is limited, it is likely the pits will be moved in the near future. Also though a motorway alongside the current pit straight means that no extra run-off area can be added leading to safety issues.

Fernando Alonso had a major accident here in 2003 and in other formulas there have been even more serious crashes including two deaths in 2011 in truck racing and stock cars. In Formula One safety is paramount and a loss of downforce in the curve coming into the start finish straight or a coming together here could even in modern F1 potentially lead to a serious injury or even fatality.

So Interlagos either needs a serious overhaul and new layout, in which the Senna Ss and the pit straight could even be lost if potential plans unveiled in 2012 are followed, or Interlagos may find it loses out to a new circuit and it seems that Rio is willing to build this.

As Brazil’s two main cities there is certainly a rivalry between the two, Sao Paulo on the one hand is an economic powerhouse and the biggest city in the southern hemisphere. Rio is seen as Brazil’s cultural capital though and one of South America’s biggest tourist destinations: with people flocking to Copacabana beach.

The funds therefore could be probably found for a new circuit in Sao Paulo or an overhaul of Interlagos that would meet Bernie Ecclestone’s requirements but he does seem to like the idea of a Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro: where F1 was last seen in 1990 at the Jacarepagua circuit, itself recently demolished. Talking about the potential for a race in Rio Bernie Ecclestone said “The mayor has told me they can get it done,”.

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