The Brazilian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit, will remain on the Formula 1 calendar for many years to come, race organisers have confirmed, amid reports the event could be dropped at the end of the current season.
Bernie Ecclestone cast doubt over its future when he recently said “chances are it won’t happen” in 2017, adding that discussions with Argentina are taking place as a possible replacement for the South American race.
Although Brazil has a contract in place until 2022, it hangs on circuit renovations being completed around the pit and paddock area. Though much of the work has been completed, financial and political problems in the country have fuelled rumours that they won’t be completed in time and will therefore lose the rights to hose the Brazilian GP.
In a statement, race organisers insist the reports are purely speculation and they are in fact seeking a contract extension.
“The circuit’s engineering department conducted a visit for the Brazilian press on 22 June to show the current work which should complete the ambitious three-year, U$ 60 million programme to improve the various facilities of the classic Interlagos circuit before the forthcoming Brazilian Grand Prix which shall take place on 11, 12 and 13 of November,” read the statement.
“The circuit, a great favourite of drivers of all categories due to its challenging layout and many overtaking opportunities has been hosting the Brazilian Grand Prix since 1990 when the race was moved from the city of Rio de Janeiro.
“The city’s current contract runs through 2022 and it is expected that after this year’s municipal elections conversations will take place with the Commercial Rights Holder and the FIA to extend it for a further five years period.
“The Brazilian Grand Prix is the only race of the F1 World Championship in South America and has a huge following on worldwide television making it one of the pivotal races of the series.”