Formula 1 has agreed on a deal with FIA for organisation of the Brazilian Grand Prix which will happen in Rio, however the event faces fierce opposition from an environmental group. The agreement to hold the Brazilian GP in Rio comes at a perfect time that the F1 boss, Chase Carey can be keen to include the race in the provisional 2021 F1 calendar.
Carey has been holding talks with a group in Rio for some time to alternate the race to Deodoro, at a military base that was utilised for some lowkey 2016 Olympic events including hockey, rugby sevens, shooting, BMX, mountain bikes, show jumps and modern pentathlon. The suggested circuit is located in Camboata forest and the commencement of its construction would involve felling of many trees.
The circuit still remains in the planning stages and has to be approved as it faces opposition from environmental groups. Carey confirmed a deal to run the race has been signed with the promoter, in a letter sent to the acting governor of Rio Claudio Castro dated 14th September. Now the construction of the venue is only pending the grant of permission.
“I am writing to update you that we have now finalised race agreements with Rio Motorsports LLC to host, stage and promote Formula 1 events in Rio de Janeiro.” Carey wrote.
“These agreements are ready for execution and announcement by Formula 1 as soon as all necessary licences have been issued by the relevant authorities, INEA/CECA, in Brazil/Rio de Janeiro.”
The State Institute of the Environment (INEA) is on the process of making preparations on the technical opinions in regard to the environmental impact of the circuit construction project. Once this step is complete, the opinion will be first submitted to the Attorney General’s office and later to the State Environmental Control Commission(CECA).
The loss of the city’s last forested area has generated a lot of opposition in the form of petitions that the government should put in consideration. One of the environmental groups is using a hashtag #BrazilSaysNoToDeforestation which gained alot of momentum and popularity after Chase Carey’s letter became known to the public. However, Carey’s letter does not specify thst the race has to be held at Deodoro, so they may decide to move the race to yet another venue.
The current deal to run the Brazilian Formula 1 race at Interlagos came to an end this year amidst a strained relationship between the Sao Paulo promoter and the current Formula 1 management. This comes after Liberty Media buys Formula 1 and later discovered that Brazil was not due to pay a fee for the last few years of the contract as a legacy of a deal agreed with former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone.