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Bernie Ecclestone considering buying Brazilian GP venue Interlagos

Bernie Ecclestone is considering a bid to purchase Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix venue Interlagos from the city of Sao Paulo

Ecclestone met with mayor of Sao Paulo Joao Doria recently to discuss the city's plan to sell the circuit as part of a wider privatisation project.

Ecclestone, who was given the title of chairman emeritus when Chase Carey took over his role as part of Liberty Media's F1 takeover, expressed his interest at the meeting, which was also attended by Brazilian GP promoter Tamas Rohonyi.

Autosport understands the mayor plans further talks with Ecclestone, with whom he is believed to have an excellent relationship.

Brazil is in the middle of a financial crisis, which in turn is putting pressure on public funds.

That has led to a proposal to raise cash through the privatisation of real estate, including the circuit, owned by the city.

Plans remain at an early stage, with the proposal still requiring sanctioning by the municipal council.

It is also understood the tender for the sale of the circuit will include a clause that makes it the buyer's responsibility to guarantee the race long-term.

Interlagos has an F1 contract until 2020, but the slow speed with which it has completed its development, including track resurfacing and upgrading ageing paddock facilities, has been criticised.

Doria wants to keep F1 at Interlagos and is keen to extend its current deal to 2030.

He feels that will make the venue a much more attractive proposition and boost plans to enhance the facility.

Interlagos has hosted 34 Brazilian GPs since 1973 and is currently the only South American race on the calendar.

Felipe Massa, the only Brazilian driver on the 2017 F1 grid, said he welcomed the possibility of Ecclestone getting involved.

"If anybody is interested to buy [Interlagos] and to make something good for the racetrack and for the city as well, it's good," said Massa in China.

"But we need to wait and see and hope the best for them.

"Bernie is a guy who doesn't buy something if he doesn't believe it's something good to do.

"If Bernie is interested, he completely has my respect."

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