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Brazil: Bratches confirms that Interlagos has 2020 contract

NEWS STORY
12/05/2019

Following Brazil president, Jair Bolsonaro's claim earlier this week that the 2020 Brazilian Grand Prix is to be held on a new purpose-built track in Rio de Janeiro, the mayor and governor of Sao Paulo, home of current host Interlagos, launched a robust defence, claiming that, among other things, the circuit has a contract for the 2020 race.

Speaking to Reuters in Spain, F1 commercial boss, Sean Bratches, has confirmed that Interlagos does indeed have a contract to host the 2020 event.

"We've got a contract with our incumbent promoter through the 2020 Grand Prix," he said. "Brazil generally and Rio specifically are very attractive to us from a race standpoint and we're flattered by the interest."

While according to some sources, the Rio move is a "storm in a teacup", among the other 'plot holes', other than the economics, is the claim that the new track will be built in six or seven months.

Former F1 driver Alex Wurz, who now runs a circuit design company, has said that a new track could be built in time for a 2020 race but that it would take longer than seven months.

"If it's from scratch and they don't have any roads down, they would need to be very advanced with not only their detailed planning but also tendering to find the correct contractors to build the place," he told Reuters.

"In a crash programme for the civil engineering you could maybe manage in six to nine months but that's pretty magic," he added. "The building, depending on what infrastructure they want to build, would take longer but you can operate also in temporary structures. I would think realistically that you need twelve months preparation in a crash programme."

While Chase Carey is understood to have been in talks to keep the race at Interlagos, seemingly seeking some state funding which the event does not currently enjoy, it is understood he was approached by a would-be-promoter with connections to the governor of Rio.

Though Carey has continued talks with both cities, it is understood that Bolsonaro, whose three sons have political positions in Rio, has given his support to the move.

However, as is the case with Sao Paulo, government funding would not be made available.

Carey is expected to visit Brazil next month.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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1. Posted by itc, 13/05/2019 6:35

"Donington all over again but this time there's not even a circuit there to ruin!"

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