Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has revealed Rio de Janeiro will host the country’s Formula 1 race in 2020, once the city’s new autodrome is ready.
Sao Paulo’s Interlagos track has hosted the race since 1990 but Bolsonaro insisted that changes need to be made should the country wish to maintain a long-term partnership with F1 in the future.
The plan is for the circuit’s construction to be finished before the end of this year, and it will be financed entirely by private funding.
At a military service in Rio, Bolsonaro announced that a deal had been signed with Rio’s governor Wilson Witzel and mayor Marcelo Crivella for the construction of a new track in the western Deodoro district.
The area was previously used as a venue for some events in the 2016 Olympics, including equestrian, field hockey and modern pentathlon, and is set to be designed by German engineer Herman Tilke.
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Rio last held the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1989, which was won by Nigel Mansell in the Ferrari.
Speaking to reporters, the president said: “The management of F1 has decided to maintain a Grand Prix in Brazil, but São Paulo has become impractical because of the event’s public financial support and the debt that exists over there," per BBC Sport.
“The new race track will be built in six or seven months.
“The hotel sector will be happy, the state economy as well, since it will be six or seven thousand jobs generated.
“It is good for both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.”
He added in a tweet: “After our victory in the elections, Formula 1, which would leave Brazil, decided not only to remain, but also to build a new race track in RJ, which will have the name of the idol, Ayrton Senna.
“With this, thousands of jobs will be created, benefiting the economy and the population of the state.”
F1 is known to have been exploring options to secure a long-term future for the sport in Brazil, which has one of its most important markets.
Brazil is the only South American country to host a Grand Prix and it has F1’s largest single national television audience.
The new track may also host a MotoGP annual event, following a letter of intent from promoter Dorna.News Now - Sport News