São Paulo guarantees Formula 1 GP with capacity crowds

São Paulo Formula 1 GP
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing during the 2019 São Paulo GP. Photo: Marcelo Chello/Shutterstock

The state government of São Paulo announced today that the São Paulo Formula 1 Grand Prix, due to be held in November, will not have crowd restrictions. According to Governor João Doria, the 70,000 seats of the Interlagos Speedway will all be on sale. Initially, authorities planned to limit the number of fans to around 20,000.

São Paulo Health Secretary Jean Gorinchteyn said the event will be safe as most of the crowd will be vaccinated — with the state of São Paulo having vaccinated 99 percent of adults with at least one dose. Vaccination requirements could be imposed — as well as a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours.

Mr. Doria used the announcement to tease President Jair Bolsonaro, his political nemesis — who tried to move the Brazilian Formula 1 race to Rio de Janeiro. “You are our guest, as long as you wear a face mask, sanitize your hands, have your temperature taken, and get vaccinated,” he said.

According to data provided by City Hall, the GP generated BRL 334 million in 2018, providing 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. With 77 percent of tourists coming from abroad, it is the most significant event for international tourism in the city, impacting a local industry that generated BRL 330 million in tax collection last year.