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New bid to bring Formula 1 grand prix back to Argentina

1996 Argentinian Grand PrixDesigners of a new circuit being constructed in Argentina are aiming for the venue to host the nation's first Formula 1 grand prix since 1998.

The Velociudad Speedcity in Zarate, 100km from Buenos Aires, is being built by Populous, which was behind the recent Silverstone redesign and is also working on an F1-standard circuit in Mumbai.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Velociudad venue took place on Friday, and Populous associate director John Rhodes said the ambition was to attract an F1 grand prix to the track when the full version was finished in 2014.

"The plan is for a circuit capable of delivering a Formula 1 event," he told Reuters. "Once the facility is there, then it's down to a promoter.

"The issue is to have a high performance circuit capable of holding a MotoGP then add the necessary requirements for a Formula 1 race.

"The main 4.7 km circuit will be good for F1 and endurance races like Le Mans, it's a good, sensible length."

MotoGP recently announced that it would return to Argentina in 2013 with an event at the upgraded Rio Hondo track.

Argentina last featured on the F1 calendar from 1995 to 1998, when the world championship raced at the Buenos Aires circuit.

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Argentina on verge of grand prix deal