F1 Brazilian Grand Prix Will Continue at Brand-New Track in Rio, President Announces

Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Photo: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport (Getty Images)

The contract for the long-troubled and long-threatened Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in São Paulo expires next year. According to Brazil’s president, those troubles will be left behind for another city—and newly constructed race track—soon.


Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, who is really not that great of a person, tweeted on Wednesday that the Brazilian Grand Prix will continue after the contract with its current host track, Interlagos, expires in 2020, as reported by Motorsport.com. Bolsonaro wrote that the race will be at a new track in Rio afterward, and that the investment would be “entirely private,” as per Twitter’s automatic translation:

“After our victory in the elections, Formula 1, which would leave Brazil, decided not only to remain, but also to build a new race track in [Rio de Janeiro], which will have the name of the idol Ayrton Senna,” Bolsonaro wrote, according to the translation. “With this, thousands of jobs will be created, benefiting the economy and the population of the state.”

F1 itself has yet to make any official announcements about a new host track or deal for a Brazilian Grand Prix after next year, and declined to comment when Jalopnik reached out to confirm the news. It should also be noted that Bolsonaro didn’t put a date on either of his tweets about the new track and moving of the race, but that São Paulo’s contract is through 2020.

Now, there used to be a Brazilian Grand Prix track in Rio, as Motorsport.com noted. That was the Jacarepagua circuit, which last hosted F1 in 1989, according to the New York Times. It was demolished in order to prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Bolsonaro told reporters that the new track will be built in six or seven months, according to Motorsport.com, and also claimed that São Paulo “has become impractical” because of public financial support. This falls in line with Bolsonaro’s right-wing, privatize-it-all doctrine.


Impractical or not, though, Motorsport.com reports that São Paulo insists its contract doesn’t end until 2020—as it has reiterated for years.

Staff writer, Jalopnik


Billy Milby

I'm open to seeing it at a new circuits. These things ebb and flow. Also, he's said some stuff I disagree with, but he's a bad person because doesn't believe in reparations? How is this now a mandated view or else you're a bad person? Overton window shrinks more still.