Sao Paulo extends Formula 1 contract until at least 2020

Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday 24 November 2013.

Sao Paulo officials have signed a six-year extension to their contract to host Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix, while Rio de Janeiro has been dropped as a venue for the new Formula E motor-racing championship.

Sao Paulo’s F1 race contract was due to expire following this year’s event on November 9, but the City of Sao Paulo has agreed terms with race promoters and the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) to keep the grand prix until at least 2020.

Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone had previously warned that the grand prix could be moved to Rio amid concerns over the standard of facilities at Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit. Rio hosted Brazil’s grand prix throughout the 1980s before it switched to its current location of Sao Paulo in 1991.

Under the terms of the new contract, organisers have committed to a $160m redevelopment of Interlagos that will include the track being completely resurfaced and an overhaul of the existing pit facilities.

In other news, the FIA have announced that Rio has been removed from the inaugural calendar of the Formula E series. Formula E in December finalised its calendar for its debut season, with Rio having stepped in to replace Hong Kong on the 2014-15 schedule.

The city was scheduled to host the third round of the season in November but will now be replaced by an as yet unidentified venue. This new venue will take a February calendar slot, with Los Angeles’ race moving to April.

Subbed by AJN.