Bernie Ecclestone is pushing organisers of the Brazilian grand prix to improve the ageing facilities at Interlagos.
The circuit is regarded as one of the most outdated on the entire F1 calendar, and Speed Week reports that the sport’s chief executive will meet with track officials on Saturday. Interlagos’ existing grand prix contract runs only to 2014.
Brazil’s Globo reports that Ecclestone recently travelled to Santa Catarina, a state in southern Brazil, to hear about plans for a proposed new formula one venue designed by Hermann Tilke. Ecclestone, however, denied he is seriously considering dumping Interlagos.
“We do not have that intention,” he said. “We like Sao Paulo. It’s an old race track, a bit tired, but with a good update and some plastic surgery, it’ll be alright,” added Ecclestone.
“I know it will happen soon.”
Bernie Ecclestone has approved plans to radically upgrade the Interlagos circuit, scene of the annual Brazilian grand prix in Sao Paulo.
O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper reports that the plans were presented to the London office of the sport’s chief executive on Wednesday of this week. The newspaper said Ecclestone’s approval of the sweeping plans essentially guarantees the organisers will retain the event beyond the 2014 contract until at least 2020.
Briton Ecclestone reportedly agreed that the plans comply with what he requested.
Recently, the 81-year-old said: “Brazil will have the next World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. It makes sense.
“I have long believed in Brazil — we’ve been there since 1972,” Ecclestone added. “The future of Formula One Brazil depends now on major improvements at Interlagos,” he said. “These events (World Cup and Olympics) are a great opportunity to look at the circuit as well.
“I can no longer be questioned by the teams about why we are racing at the worst circuit in the championship,” said Ecclestone.
Ecclestone demanded a drastic improvement in the ageing and cramped pit and paddock area at Interlagos. But because of the steep terrain beyond the current paddock area, the organisers proposed to move the pits and start-finish line to the expansive area on the long straight after the Senna-S and Curva do Sol.