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Sao Paulo mayor denies Ecclestone threat to axe Interlagos

Grid girls. Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday 7 November 2010.
Brazilian Grand Prix grid girls

Sao Paulo’s mayor has dismissed reports that Formula 1’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is close to dropping Interlagos from the Formula 1 calendar after 2013.

Ecclestone was quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper as saying the city will not be on the 2014 calendar because long-promised renovations to the ageing circuit were not done.

But mayor Fernando Haddad, the new mayor of Sao Paulo, told Agencia Estado news agency that the reports were “irresponsible”.

“More than a month ago I sent a letter (to the FIA) committing myself to reform the racetrack,” he said.

Haddad said reports Interlagos will not be on the 2014 calendar are therefore not true.

Meanwhile, media reports suggest Bernie Ecclestone could take over Long Beach’s iconic street race in California, after Indycar’s contract expires next year.

The magazine Motorsport said the race’s founder, Chris Pook, is also interested in the Ecclestone deal, as is Zak Brown, the head of the leading Formula 1 sponsorship agency Just Marketing.

“There’s a lot of talk about a third (US) race on the west coast,” Brown said. “I’m an advocate of Formula 1 buying the Long Beach GP. I think I can facilitate that and I’ve been having those conversations.” (GMM)