Rio De Janeiro withdraws its plan to be an alternative to Interlagos by not damaging the forest area to accommodate a race track.
Brazil’s government was constantly criticized for joining hands with Formula 1 and allow the cutting of forests in the region of Rio to make a racing track.
According to the latest report by the AFP, Rio authorities have decided not to continue with the controversial project supported by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.
On the other hand, the Liberty media was also reportedly fancying the prospect of having Rio as an alternate to Sao Paulo’s Interlagos, as they hoped to leverage its beaches, nightlife and glamour to wrest the high-profile F1 ecosystem.
But the project to build a race track in the Camboata forest caused a huge worldwide outcry and a figure like Lewis Hamilton advocated against such kind of project.
Need to plant more trees, not cut it.
The new Mayor Eduardo Paes, who took office at the start of 2021, took no time to scrap the plan, which was delayed until now despite administrative and public scrutiny.
“We need to be talking about recovering green spaces, not destroying them,” said city hall, announcing it had instructed the Rio de Janeiro state environmental institute (Ipea) to shelve the permitting process for the race track.
Meanwhile, F1 had foreseen the negative image it may gather from this move, and keep its presence in Brazil, and they signed a contract extension with Interlagos till 2025.
“This process was being led by city hall, and we are now formally saying we will not be pursuing it further,” a city official told AFP. This is indeed seen as a defeat to Bolsonaro, who promised to bring F1 back in Rio.
In 2021, the Brazilian Grand Prix will be held from 5-7 November.