Interlagos gets 'concession' bill passed in a bid to keep F1 Brazil GP from Rio
The Sao Paulo City Council has passed a bill which puts Interlagos under the 'concession' scheme as opposed to 'privatisation' in a bid to keep the F1 Brazil GP.
The bill was passed on Wednesday night in a City Council vote by an overwhelming majority, which was a win for Mayor Bruno Covas as he wanted the circuit to be put under the 'concession' scheme with the amendment rather than under 'private'.
Covas believed that if it was put under full privatisation scheme, it would have been a dead end for Interlagos to host a F1 race in the future with its sale amid heavy talks around the move to Rio de Janeiro as proposed by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
The news around Rio did rounds after Bolsonaro declared that Brazil GP will be shifted out of Interlagos from 2021 onward after its current contract expires in 2020. The report said that a new circuit is to be built in Deodoro to host the grand prix.
The verbal fight anyways ensued between Sao Paulo and Rio with regards to the future of Brazil GP. But with the passing of the amended Bill 705/17 and Interlagos being put under the concession scheme, it could help the circuit to retain the grand prix.
The council's President Eduardo Tuma, in fact, has been quoted by Rio Times stating: "The concession guarantees that F1 will remain in Sao Paulo because whoever is the concessionaire will be interested in promoting the event.
"The city wins out with this because it is different than privatisation, which would mean the sale and possibly real estate speculation of Interlagos." While the council has approved it by majority vote, the final seal of signature remains of Mayor Covas.
In addition, Liberty Media's Chloe Targett-Adams is to meet officials in Rio de Janeiro to further negotiate the grand prix in Rio. At the same time, a meeting with Sao Paulo is also planned for next month as F1 try to finalise plans with either parties.
Meanwhile, F1's commercial director Sean Bratches has said that nothing has been signed whether with Rio and or Sao Paulo for beyond 2020. He added that the negotiations are still ongoing and it still remains to be seen what comes out of all the talks.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]