Sao Paulo mayor wants Pirelli to help privatise Interlagos

The drive to save Interlagos, venue of the Brazilian Grand Prix since 1990, is ongoing after Sao Paulo mayor Joao Doria met with Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti Provera in an effort to find a solution to save the beleaguered race circuit.

Doria said during a press conference in Milan,  “Pirelli has a strong presence both in Brazil and in Formula 1, so I wanted to meet the president [Provera] to discuss the privatization of the circuit.”

“He told me that he would expose the issue to Chinese investors. What do we hope for? Our desire is for the race circuit to be privatised, keeping in mind that the Pirelli headquarters is in San Paolo.”

Pirelli is now an overseas subsidiary of Chinese state-owned enterprise ChemChina.

It is also notable that former Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery is now the company’s executive president for Latin America, based in Sao Paulo and a half hour drive from the legendary circuit.

In April this year, Bernie Ecclestone was approached to buy the circuit by Doria, “We went to the mayor of Sao Paulo, but he does not want to spend a single dollar – he wants to sell the circuit.”

“[The mayor] asked me if I would be interested. We can get him to agree that when the sale happens, whoever buys it will have to keep the Formula 1 circuit. Then it’s a case of finding an organiser for the race, which is a bit more difficult.”

No matter what happens the Brazilian Grand Prix is on the Formula 1 calendar until 2020, what transpires thereafter hinges on an enterprise purchasing the circuit and their plans for the venue.