The Formula 1 contract for Sao Paulo, more specifically the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in the city’s Interlagos district, expired this year. The venue has not paid a settlement fee since Liberty’s boarding in 2017 due to a legal loophole, so it was no surprise that the F1 rights holder welcomed the initiative to move the Brazilian Grand Prix to Rio de Janeiro in a letter a few weeks ago to the sport’s CEO, Chase Carey also assured those there of success.
The big turn came this week: in the recently announced 2021 race calendar, only Interlagos is once again the venue for the Brazilian Grand Prix, and Sao Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas spoke straight on Thursday that the race will remain theirs until 2025.
“The treaty has been finalized and will be signed in a few days,” the mayor said at a press conference with Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria.
“We will be holding the grand prize here in Interlagos next November. The contract is for five years and can be extended for another five years, ”he continued.
Reuters inquired at F1 about the reality of the announcement, but a spokesman for the sport said that “we do not comment on contracts with race organizers and our partners.”
One of the main obstacles to the Rio competition was the fate of the forest at the planned track, environmental concerns, although the Brazilian press read that the organizers there were bloodshot, they claimed the television rights, so F1 turned their backs on them.
The mayor of Sao Paulo was also asked at the press conference why he thought they were chosen over Rio – he replied, “Well, we already have a career.”