Trouble in Brazil

A judge in Brazil has suspended the payment of an $18 million contract which the Prefecture of Sao Paulo had agreed with the F1 group for a race in Interlagos this year. The details of the deal were announced last week in the official state journal, with a five-year deal that allowed the prefecture to pay the promoter money to run a Grand Prix.

However Judge Emilio Migliano Neto has ruled that the contract needs to be looked at in detail because there was no tender for the contract and because of the secrecy involved in the negotiations. This could be the result of the former race promoter stirring up trouble as there as been some some discontent in the relationship in recent years.

The judge has given the city five days to produce required documentation. The deal was agreed in November for the city to host a race at Interlagos for the next five years. The race is to be called the Sao Paulo Grand Prix rather than the Brazilian GP as a result. It is unlikely that this will impact the race in any permanent way but it will make the paperwork more arduous.

7 thoughts on “Trouble in Brazil

  1. Who knows, if they settle the GP might get its proper name back.

    That wouldn’t be the worst outcome as far as I’m concerned. (but I suppose the new contract holders thought themselves clever and may not want to be easily disabused of that notion)

  2. Does F1 want the hassle and the reputational damage this may cause. After all its not the safest GP to attend in recent years. Maybe there is more to it than it seems at first, politics is messy at the best of times do we need more complications in a seas which may have as many as last season?

  3. And we the fans want a GP at Interlagos. I can’t remember it ever producing a boring race (ok, so that’s a bit self-selecting, but…)

  4. I’m Brazilian and there were indications, before the agreement was signed, that the race promoter would organize the GP without any government money. And now, for some reason, there’s the need for taxpayer money to be paid to the race promoter.
    This is a new race promoter because the one who organized the race for decades didn’t get along with Liberty and, apparently, changing the race promoter was a condition imposed by Liberty move forward. This new race promoter has Mubadala as a partner, among others.
    Naturally, people started questioning the deal and this judge ruled that details of the deal need to be clarified because there should be an open public tender promoted by the Prefecture of São Paulo to select a service provider to organize the GP if there’s taxpayer money being paid to a company and there was no tender in this case.
    The issue with the name is because there’s currently a political dispute between João Doria, the governor of the state of São Paulo, and Jair Bolsonaro, the president of the country. And Doria wanted to make clear to everyone that he was the one behind keeping the race in Brazil after Bolsonaro’s blunder with moving the GP to Rio and building a new race track at Deodoro, which will never happen.

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