President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday (24) that there is a 99% chance that the Formula One will be transferred from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro in 2021.
After meeting at the Planalto Palace with the command of the category, the president said that the transferring it to Rio de Janeiro would prevent the event from leaving Brazil.
The contract with São Paulo expires in 2020, and F-1 director-general Chase Carey has been negotiating with governors Wilson Witzel (Rio de Janeiro) and João Doria (São Paulo).
"We will not lose Formula 1. The contract expires next year, and they decided to do it in Rio de Janeiro. Otherwise it will leave Brazil," Bolsonaro said.
At the announcement, which was attended by Witzel, the president challenged Doria, who has insisted that the Formula 1 remain in São Paulo and is considered a pre-candidate for the presidential succession in 2022.
"The press says that he [Doria] will be running for president in 2022. So he has to think about Brazil, not his state, so he's not going to oppose it. If he runs for reelection, he may want to create some obstacle or offer some advantages for him to remain in São Paulo," he said.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon