São Paulo authorities jump the gun with Formula 1 guarantee

Formula 1: São Paulo authorities jump the gun with GP guarantee
São Paulo’s Interlagos F-1 race. Photo: ABr

The governing body of Formula 1 has yet to release its full 2020 schedule — which has naturally been jeopardized by the pandemic. But that hasn’t stopped São Paulo Governor João Doria and Mayor Bruno Covas from confirming the city’s Grand Prix, originally scheduled for November 15.

Besides the already-released eight-race schedule, Formula 1 officials announced two additional events for 2020 on Friday, with Tuscany (September 13) joining the calendar and Russia (September 27) retaining its original date.

According to Mr. Doria, the Interlagos raceway “will be prepared, following all health protocols.” He also said Formula 1 executives are fully informed. Despite Mr. Doria’s guarantees, the Brazilian race is anything but a certainty. Last week, Mercedez boss Toto Wolff said races in the Americas — Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., besides Brazil — don’t seem like desirable prospects. “Looking at those countries right now, you cannot possibly imagine we would be going there,” Mr. Wolff told the BBC.

The state of São Paulo has confirmed almost 360,000 Covid-19 cases and 17,442 deaths — almost 10 times more than the whole of Argentina, which has a comparable population of 45 million. Still, authorities are already allowing the economy to reopen.

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