Argentina is in talks with Formula 1 over a return of the sport to Buenos Aires, with a potential race possibly taking place as early as next year.
Arturo Rubinstein, one of the country’s leading event promoters, revealed that negotiations were underway for Argentina to become the third South American race on the F1 calendar after Brazil and Mexico.
The promoter said that funding had been secured from the local government to upgrade Buenos Aires’ Autodromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez , the historical venue of the Argentina Grand Prix in the past.
“We are negotiating with Liberty Media to become the promoter of the GP in Argentina,” said Arturo Rubinstein.
“The government of the city of Buenos Aires has committed to fund the required works in order to get a further upgrade of the circuit according to F1 and FIA´s standards.
“The works to repair and improve the circuit will start as soon as we sign the agreement to hold the race in Buenos Aires for a five year term and the estimated amount is in the range of $30m.
“In an expert’s opinion, the works may be finalised six months after they start.”
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Indeed, Rubinstein targets bringing F1 back to the country as early as next year if the work goes according to plan.
Last summer, it was reported that FIA F1 race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting had visited Buenos Aires and conducted a track inspection to evaluate the work necessary to bring the venue up to modern F1 standards.
“Our preference is to have the race held in 2019, at the beginning of the calendar, back to back with Australia. It is worth noting that there are transpolar flights.
“Also, historically, the F1 races in Argentina were held at the beginning of the calendar. Another alternative is to have it in November, before or after Brazil.”
Rubinstein said plans for a return of the Argentina GP to the calendar were initiated back in 2013.
“In early 2014 we had our first meeting in London with Bernie Ecclestone,” said the promoter.
“The political and economic situation in Argentina did not help to make it happen during the following years but now it’s the right time.
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“As Argentina has re-entered the global market, with sound reforms by the new government that took over three years ago, investor interest has surged,” added Rubinstein.
“This has enhanced many opportunities for global events and networking. As an example, Argentina is hosting the biennial World Trade Organization, the G20 Summit and the International Youth Olympics.”
The very first Grand Prix of Argentina took place in 1953 and the race was an irregular fixture on the calendar thereafter.
The last event to be held at the Autodromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez in Buenos Aires was in 1998, and was won by Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher.
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