Oct.25 (GMM) The mayor of Sao Paulo has played down fears poor circuit facilities will see the Interlagos venue fall off the annual formula one schedule.
Mayor Gilberto Kassab was at the scene of next weekend's Brazilian grand prix at the weekend, as the circuit performed safety checks for the forthcoming race.Asked if he is worried that many in the F1 circus - including the sport's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone - believe Interlagos features arguably the worst facilities on the calendar, he answered: "I am not."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," he is quoted by Agencia Estado news agency."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," added Kassab.For the 2010 event, new 'softwall' barriers, anti-slip paint, synthetic grass and better drainage have been installed around the circuit.More comprehensive upgrades to the ageing facilities have not been done yet, but the mayor said a 'Master Plan' will be drafted at the end of the year.Kassab is also quoted by Globo Esporte: "There are some things missing, but I like what I see. 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 major events of the world. It generates jobs and income for the city. That is why we invest so much in it," he added.On the other end of the scale is Abu Dhabi's impressive Yas Marina circuit, which is set to host the 2010 season finale one week after Brazil.Ecclestone told Gulf News: "If only all the venues were as superb as Abu Dhabi, I would be a happy man."How long is their arrangement to hold a grand prix? For ever. For as long as they want it," added the Briton, who turns 80 this week.