Brazilian judge suspends Sao Paulo Formula 1 Grand Prix contract at Interlagos, citing usage of public funds to secure the race.
In December, it was announced that F1 has signed a five-year-old extension with Sao Paulo authorities at Interlagos to keep the F1 competition in Brazil till 2025.
But amidst the claim of misappropriation of public funds, a Brazilian judge Emilio Migliano Neto has suspended the contract between the two parties, till the pending investigation, in the recent judgement, as per the Motorsport.
“The facts reveal without a doubt, at least at this stage, that the principles of publicity and transparency are being violated in an explicit manner,” the judge noted.
“For this reason also [absence of bidding], there is a need to suspend the execution of the contract, to assess whether there were effectively resources to cover the expenses detailed in the signed agreement.”
The information by Motorsport further claims that the current nature of the contract reveals that the city of Sao Paulo is paying 20m Reals – the equivalent of US$3.65 – per year over the five years of the deal signed with F1.
Previously, public support had extended only to pay for renovation work at the Interlagos venue.
What will happen next?
In the current judgement, the Sao Paulo authorities have been given five days to respond to the decision with the relevant documents that could safeguard the 2021 race in Brazil.
Though, it is not good news for F1 officials, who are already busy in fixing their already leaked calendar of 2021, with several organizers demanding a postponement.
Formula 1’s involvement in Brazil has lately been a subject of scrutiny, as it planned to take the Brazil Grand Prix to Rio, and convinced the Brazilian government to build a new track that required clearance of a part of the Amazon forest.
It was reported that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was in favour of this decision. But ultimately this project was scrapped by the Brazilian court, and F1 resorted back to Interlagos.