Argentina seeking place on 2019 F1 calendar

Mat Coch

Thursday 22nd February, 2018 - 10:39am

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Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the 1997 Argentinian Grand Prix

Argentina is chasing a recall to Formula 1 with confirmation the country is targeting a place on the 2019 calendar.

F1 last visited the South American country in the mid-1990s, with a three-year stint in Buenos Aries before financial problems saw the event dropped.

The current project began in 2014, and met with former F1 impresario Bernie Ecclestone before the sport was sold to current owners Liberty Media.

“We are negotiating with Liberty Media to become the promoter of the GP in Argentina,” Arturo Rubinstein told the Independent.

Rubinstein is president of Blue Capital, which owns a music and sports promotions company and has organised the country’s round of the Formula E championship.

Having not hosted an F1 event in two decades, significant work is required at the Buenos Aries circuit to bring it up to the required spec.

However according to Rubinstein, the finances needed to do so have already been approved by the government.

“The government of the city of Buenos Aires has committed to fund the required works in order to get a further upgrade of the circuit according to F1 and FIA’s standards,” he said.

“The works to repair and improve the circuit will start as soon as we sign the agreement to hold the race in Buenos Aires for a five year term and the estimated amount is in the range of $30m.

“In an expert’s opinion, the works may be finalised six months after they start.

“Our preference is to have the race held in 2019, at the beginning of the calendar, back to back with Australia. It is worth noting that there are transpolar flights,” he added.

“Also, historically, the F1 races in Argentina were held at the beginning of the calendar. Another alternative is to have it in November, before or after Brazil.”

F1 currently hosts three events in the Americas, in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil, all of which are scheduled towards the end of the season.

Argentina has a long history in the sport, hosting its first grand prix in 1953 and was the birthplace of five-time world champion Juan-Manuel Fangio.

It is the latest in a string of possible locations for future events, which also includes Vietnam, Las Vegas, New York and Miami.

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