With rumours circulating about the potential make-up of future F1 calendars, the mayor of Sao Paulo insists that Interlagos deserves a place among those venues selected.
Speaking in the wake of a Bernie Ecclestone interview that suggested various circuits would be under threat now that the calendar has been pegged at 20 races with new venues still clamouring for inclusion [see story here
], Gilberto Kassab said that he was confident that the Autodromo Carlos Pace was safe.
"I am not worried," he told Agencia Estado
during a visit to Interlagos ahead of next month's grand prix, "The city of Sao Paulo has a great interest in staying on the schedule and has invested a lot for it. The organisers of F1 also have an interest in having the race here. After all, Sao Paulo is one of the major cities of the world, and there's no reason for Brazil to not be in the loop."
Often derided for having the worst facilities on the current schedule, Interlagos is making improvements ahead of the 7 November race which could, possibly, determine the outcome of the 2010 world championship. New 'softwall' barriers and improved drainage have both been installed in an effort to make the event run more smoothly, and anti-slip paint and synthetic grass added since last year, with Kassab promising that a bigger revamp of the circuit's ageing facilities would be considered at the end of the year.
"There are some things missing, but I like what I see," he told Globo Esporte
, "I am very calm. Every year we improve the autodromo, which is one of the best in the world, if not the largest. F1 is one of the biggest events in the world and generates jobs and income for the city. That is why we invest so much in it."