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Brazil’s São Paulo GP 2021 will host full audience limited to vaccinated people

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 2021 São Paulo Grand Prix, the new name for the Brazilian stage of Formula 1, is confirmed for this year and will be held in November at the Interlagos racetrack in São Paulo.

The event will be attended by full capacity public, São Paulo governor João Doria said on August 16, at a press conference. The audience will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks, he added.

São Paulo governor João Doria. (Photo internet reproduction)

“I point out right away, including to F1 fans and lovers, that wearing a mask will be mandatory for the practice sessions and the sprint race on Sunday. The temperature of all people, professionals, technicians, racers, mechanics, assistants, as well as service providers, will also be taken,” the governor said.

In addition to masks, the Covid-19 vaccine will be another requirement for the public. “Obviously only vaccinated people may attend, so in addition to being a passport to save one’s life and that of the community, it will also be a passport to take part in activities here in the city,” said São Paulo Mayor Ricardo Nunes.

State Health Secretary Jean Gorinchteyn added that people should also be tested 48 hours before the time of the race.

Three ticket lots to watch the race were sold in just three days, and a new lot will be made available starting August 27 at noon. According to the race promoter and CEO Alan Adler, some 20,000 tickets will be put on sale. Tickets will be released to people who register on a waiting list available on the website.

The São Paulo GP is not likely to be canceled, according to the governor. “There is no such prospect. I even spoke with the F1 director [Stefano Domenicali]. There is no such possibility. Only if there were an unexpected situation in all respects. We are confident about the F1 event. The only confirmation left is regarding the date,” Doria said.

Brazil has hosted 48 Formula 1 Grand Prix, 38 of them at the São Paulo Interlagos racetrack. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic the race was not held in Brazil last year.

Grand Prix

The race was initially scheduled to take place from November 5 to 7, but the São Paulo government and city hall requested its postponement to the following weekend, between November 12 and 14, due to the November 15 holiday.

The original plan was for the Mexican GP to take place between November 6 and 7, and the São Paulo GP the following weekend. This is still under consideration and a decision is expected by August 26.

According to Doria, this postponement would increase the financial impact in São Paulo by up to 25%. “If this request is accepted, it will greatly increase the revenue inflow for the city and the state. We could have an increase of up to 25% in revenue for the Formula 1 in São Paulo, reaching R$140 (US$26.6) million in revenue for the city, and this also generates more jobs,” he said.

Formula 1 is one of the three events with the greatest financial impact for the city of São Paulo, along with Carnaval and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Pride Parade.

According to a study by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) based on 2019 data, the last time the Interlagos racetrack hosted the race, Formula 1 generated over 8,000 temporary jobs, with an impact of R$670 million on the local economy.

New feature

Another new feature in this year’s event will be the sprint race to be held on Saturday, one day before the competition. “The Saturday sprint race will define the starting grid,” the governor said.

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