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Argentine deal expected this week

THE Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires is expected to be confirmed for March 28 later this week. This will increase the Formula 1 World Championship to 17 rounds. The news means that there is virtually no chance of a Chinese Grand Prix in 1999. This will come as a blow to British American Tobacco which was very keen to have a race in China this season. The deal in Argentina is being sorted out by Paddy McNally, who is standing in for Bernie Ecclestone in the negotiations.

The race in Buenos Aires will mean that the F1 teams will leave their equipment in South America until the Brazilian GP in Sao Paulo on April 11.

The deal with Buenos Aires is expected to include assurances from the Argentines that they will do upgrading work on the facilities in the Autodromo Oscar Galvez, which is one of the least impressive circuits visited by the F1 circus.

The deal has been brokered by Argentine President Carlos Menem and is happening largely as a result of Argentine interest in the career of youngster Esteban Tuero.

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