Formula 1

Brazilian president reveals grand prix will move to Rio for 2020

The Brazilian Grand Prix will move next year to a new purpose-built circuit in Rio de Janeiro that could be named after Ayrton Senna, the country’s president has revealed.

Amid uncertainty over the long-term future of the current Formula 1 event at Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has said that a switch of venues would happen in 2020 when the event moves to Rio.

At a press conference, he announced that a deal had been signed with Rio’s governor Wilson Witzel and mayor Marcelo Crivella for the construction of a new track in the western Deodoro district.

The plan is for the circuit’s construction to be finished before the end of this year, and it will be financed entirely by private money.

Speaking to reporters, the president said: “The management of F1 has decided to maintain a grand prix in Brazil, but Sao Paulo has become impractical because of the event’s public financial support and the debt that exists over there.

“The new racetrack will be built in six or seven months.

“The hotel sector will be happy, the state economy as well since it will be six or seven thousands jobs generated.

“It is good for both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.”

The president’s comments follow a tweet from Witzel, in which he said he had received a letter from F1 commercial director Sean Bratches expressing interest in moving the race to Rio.

The former home of the Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio, the Jacarepagua circuit, has been demolished as it gave way to the Olympic Park in 2016.

The new Deodoro circuit will be built on land that has been given up by the military, and is set to be designed by Hermann Tilke.

It is also targeting to host a MotoGP event, following a letter of intent from promoter Dorna.

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