Rio de Janeiro is reportedly targeting a return to F1 hosting duties

The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is reportedly seeking to bring Formula 1 back to the fold.

The city’s mayor unveiled plans to build an F1-spec circuit to replace the old Jacarepaguá, which was demolished to make way for facilities to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 summer Olympic Games.

Mayor Eduardo Paes has unveiled a project to commence in the region of Deodoro, an area which currently houses a former military base that will be handed back to the government to turn into public parkland.

On the positive side, the area is well-served by rail infrastructure and would therefore be easily-accessible for motorsport fans.

However, the area was also used as one of the countries largest ammunition dumping grounds, and there are still instances of the odd unexploded bomb being unearthed from time to time.

That being said, the plans are to convert the area into the equivalent of a parkland radio circuit, styled in the fashion of Melbourne’s Albert Park or Montreal’s Isle Notre Dame.

The initial designs have shown a high-speed figure-of-eight circuit layout that will have permanent seating for 30,000 fans, with scope to increase this with temporary grandstand seating and general admission areas.

The proposed Rio de Janeiro circuit design
The proposed circuit layout – we rather like it!

Mayor Paes has indicated that it’s his intention to pinch Formula 1 away from Sao Paulo, whose dilapidated Interlagos circuit has played host to the sport since 1990 after it lost hosting rights to the rather featureless Jacarepaguá venue between 1981 and 1989.

With the interest in the project reportedly strong, it will be interesting to see if, and how, the project gets going in the coming months.

Failing that, the rumours will at least come as welcome ammunition for F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who has been steadfastly campaigning for Interlagos officials to cough up major investment to improve the circuit, with his demands including a rebuild and relocation of the substandard pit and paddock facilities.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.