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Brazilian president says grand prix moving to Rio

Brazilian president says grand prix moving to Rio

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Brazilian president says grand prix moving to Rio

Brazilian president says grand prix moving to Rio

The Brazilian Grand Prix will leave Interlagos in Sao Paulo and be staged in Rio de Janeiro in 2020, according to the country' president. The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace has hosted Formula 1 every year since 1990, but apparently cannot afford to continue welcoming the sport.

President Jair Bolsonaro says a new venue will be built in Rio de Janeiro and host the race next year, despite Interlagos holding a contract for the 2020 event with F1.

According to Bolsonaro the construction will take "six to seven months", with Rio's mayor Marcelo Crivella claiming work will begin next month.

Rio previously hosted F1 at the Jacarepagua circuit in 1978 and from 1981 to 1989 before it was deemed too unsafe and Interlagos was rebuilt.

It is reported that the new track in Rio will be built at the Deodoro military base, which hosted several events during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

With a fanatical support base in Brazil inspired by three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, the country remains an important market for owners Liberty Media.

Brazilian drivers have dropped off the grid in recent years and Felipe Massa's retirement at the end of 2017 left F1 without a racer from Brazil in its line-up for the first time in several decades.

Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of former world champion Emerson, and Sergio Sette Camara are currently contracted to Haas and McLaren respectively as test drivers.

"There is a contract in place to hold the Brazilian grand prix in Sao Paulo until 2020 and both sides continue to honour their commitments," Interpub, the company that organisers the Interlagos race, said in a statement.

And the Sao Paulo city government added: "Talks are even going ahead to extend the current contract."

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