Sao Paulo plots major Interlagos revamp

The city of Sao Paulo has put out two tenders for a proposed R$160.8 million (US$71 million) renovation of the Autdromo Jos Carlos Pace at Interlagos, the host of the annual Brazilian Grand Prix.Completion of the works is said to be a deciding factor in whether Brazil is awarded a new contract to host its Grand Prix, with Formula One Management chief executive Bernie Ecclestone believed to have insisted on major improvements to circuit facilities - considered the poorest on the Formula One calendar - before negotiations begin on an extension to 2020.A new three-storey pit facility will be built on what is currently the back straight of the 2.6 mile circuit, which will host the final race of the 2013 season on 24th November.The new pit facility will include 40 hospitality boxes, while a new control tower, press centre and podium will be built into the design. Some track changes are planned as a result, as the area marked for construction is close to a lake, while grandstands will also be improved.The O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper reported that the renovations would be funded largely by Sao Paulo's tourism ministry rather than the government itself, because the government cannot afford to finance the project and on the basis that the annual Grand Prix, which has often been the scene of world championship deciders, generates nearly US$100 million for the city each year.Plans to redevelop Interlagos, which has held a Grand Prix continuously since 1990 but held its first Brazilian Grand Prix on a longer version of the current track in 1972, have been mooted for some time.The need to move forward with the plans, however, has been heightened by increasing speculation linking other Brazilian cities, notably Rio de Janeiro, with Brazil's round of the Formula One world championship.

Source: SportsPro