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Ecclestone admits 'talks' to return F1 to Argentina

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that discussions are taking place with a view to reviving the Argentine Grand Prix – a race that has been held on-and-off on 20 occasions since the official inception of the Formula 1 World Championship back in 1950, but one that has not now taken place since 1998, when the legendary Michael Schumacher prevailed.

The event has traditionally been held in the South American nation's capital of Buenos Aires, but should it return then the most likely venue is reported to be a street circuit in the Atlantic resort city of Mar del Plata. The sport's commercial rights-holder Ecclestone is known to be keen on street races due to their photogenic nature for television cameras, with recent additions to the calendar Valencia and Singapore and the soon-to-join Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi all falling into that category. Mar del Plata is also understood to have an abundance of nearby accommodation for teams and race-goers.

“I'm talking to people in Argentina,” Ecclestone is quoted as having said by The Associated Press in Monaco this weekend of his discussions with the country's government officials. “We've just started talking.”

Argentine government chief of staff Sergio Massa confirmed in an interview with the newspaper Critica that 'we are trying to bring Formula 1', and it is suggested that a return next year would coincide with the country's bicentennial celebrations.

Though the general tendency in F1 of late is for new races to be granted to Middle and Far Eastern nations who can afford to pay over the odds for the prestige of hosting a grand prix and are consequently capable of building the required standard of facilities to boot, it is felt that an Argentine round on the schedule would be logistically convenient in that it could effectively dovetail with the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos near São Paulo.

Ecclestone was less committal when asked if the Mexican resort of Cancun might also be in-line for a Latin American slot on the calendar, replying bluntly: “I don't know.”

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Alan D - Unregistered

May 23, 2009 12:55 PM

I'm a great admirer of Fangio and when people talk about Schumacher etc as being the greatest ever I don't think they begin to realise how much Fangio dominated his era. 24 wins out of 52 races. A lot of drivers these days have 52 races before they get on the podium. But this isn't about the driver. The article suggests they are looking at a street circuit, not the Beunos Aires Autodrome and points out that Bernie likes street circuits because they are more photogenic. So its not about how good the racing will be, its about how it will look to advertisers and sponsors.

Chris - Unregistered

May 23, 2009 12:07 PM

Some might argue that the Argentine GP is one of the most classic of them all. Of course, arguably the greatest driver in history is Argentinian. With any luck, China or Malaysia might bite the dust.

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