JUNE 30, 2019
New Rio F1 race accused of corruption
Even before a circuit is built, the new project to potentially organise the 2021 Brazilian GP in Rio de Janeiro is being accused of corruption.
Controversial president Jair Bolsonaro recently said the project at Deodoro, a neighbourhood of Rio, has a "99 per cent" chance of taking F1 away from Interlagos.
But Brazilian media are now saying there are problems with the way the Rio organisers and authorities are going about putting together the new venue.
Globo reports that the company that won the circuit build and management rights contract only has 0.14 per cent of the capital required to be eligible to officially bid.
"Rio Motorpark has R$ 100,000, but the public notice required a minimum of R$ 69.7 million," the newspaper said.
Manoel Peixinho, a professor of administrative law, commented: "We are facing one of the largest corruption cases in public tenders in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
"In the legal environment, this is what is called a paper company."
There are other irregularities. Rio's City Hall reportedly made almost 200 amendments to the public bidding notice, in order to allow those in charge of the Deodoro bid to be eligible and successful.
O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper says a civil action has been filed with the city's federal court, with the prosecutor's office claiming the bidding process was "directed to a specific company".