AUGUST 11, 2010

Interlagos must modernise to survive

Interlagos is the latest circuit to come under fire from F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.

The criticism is not before time according to most of the paddock, which has put up with the cramped, outdated facilities at the Sao Paolo track without as much as a murmur from the powers that be, in marked comparison to the regular maligning of the pre-2010 Silverstone, for example.

With an F1 calendar under ever-increasing pressure for events and Interlagis competing with first class facilities and government money of the type offered by Abu Dhabi, Ecclestone told Brazilian newspaper Estada de S£o Paulo that the "worst circuit" on the F1 calendar must see "significant improvements" to continue to host motorsport's elite.

Ecclestone is hoping that Brazil hosting the soccer World Cup in 2014 and Rio having the 2016 Olympics could spark badly-needed upgrades at Interlagos.

"Long ago, in 1972, I believed in Brazil and brought F1 here, but I can no longer be questioned by the teams about the worst circuit in the championship," Ecclestone declared. "The future depends on significant improvements."

Currently, Interlagos has a contract until 2015, the track has decided the last two world championships through its late season date and there can be no denying the passion of the Brazilian fans, but none of those factors are sufficient to guarantee the venue's place on the calendar without significant investment.