MARCH 20, 2008
Sao Paulo signs F1 deal until 2015
The mayor of Sao Paulo Gilberto Kassab says he has signed a new deal with the Formula One group for the Brazilian Grand Prix to remain at Interlagos until the year 2015. The details of the new contract have not been made public, but it is believed that part of the arrangement will be that Interlagos is revamped with a new pitland and paddock complex, and new grandstands. The track is one of the shoddiest on the F1 calendar but is allowed to remain because of the strategic importance of the Brazilian market. Kassab, who faces re-election this year, said that a Grand Prix is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and will guarantee the city a place on the F1 calendar despite the pressure for dates in other parts of the world. The Brazilian GP is currently the highest rating F1 race of the year thanks to the fact that it hosts the final race of the year, and because it is located in a place which means that live coverage of the event hits the big F1 markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia at prime time. Kassab has run the city for the last two years, after taking over from Jose Serra, when he decided to run for the post of governor of the Sao Paulo state.