Interlagos '99%' sure it will see off Rio bid for F1's Brazilian GP

Brazilian Grand Prix promoter Tamas Rohonyi is '99%' confident the race will stay at Interlagos, despite a mooted switch to a new Rio track for the 2021 Formula 1 season

Interlagos '99%' sure it will see off Rio bid for F1's Brazilian GP

Sao Paulo's current contract runs out at the end of 2020 and the fate of the race after that date has not yet been decided.

F1 chiefs have been in discussions with representatives from a new track in Rio about switching the country's race there, with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro supporting that project and declaring earlier this year that it was "99%" likely to happen.

But Rohonyi is sceptical about the Rio plan and said his confidence in keeping the race at Interlagos was "the same percentage that the president mentioned".

He sees Interlagos as the only realistic option for a Brazilian GP.

"Either F1 remains here or there will be no Brazilian GP," Rohonyi told Autosport.

"I make no comments about Rio de Janeiro that I do not know, but what I do know is that there is a land with trees and animals, and so far there remains a land with trees and animals.

"I think it is physically impossible for an international event to happen there in 2021.

"But there are people who don't agree with that.

"Rio became an option because of the president's support, and Bolsonaro had Chase Carey by his side when he said F1 was 99% back in Rio de Janeiro.

"Today he wouldn't say that."

Rio previously hosted the Brazilian GP in 1978 (pictured below) and from 1981-89 but the Jacarepagua track used for those events has been demolished.

Rohonyi thinks Bolsonaro was misled when he said the new Rio Motorpark venue, which is planned to be built on army land, could be ready so soon.

"He was badly advised as there was no reason to say that," he said.

"For those who want to host an F1 GP in 2021, you would need to have the track ready in May of that year. It's late 2019, so you have 16 months for that. "

Rohonyi expects a decision about the future of the Brazilian GP to happen early next year - and he says he is seeking a long term deal that could run until 2030.

"For us, it's a very good period of contract," he added.

"It is increasingly difficult to work with short term contracts. Big companies do long-term planning.

"Heineken, for example, has its largest market is Brazil, and these guys do not work in terms of two or three years."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton using "freebie" grands prix for F1 2020 experiments
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton using "freebie" grands prix for F1 2020 experiments

Next article

Red Bull boss Horner: Gasly 'exceptional' since Toro Rosso demotion

Red Bull boss Horner: Gasly 'exceptional' since Toro Rosso demotion
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021