F1 to return to Argentina?

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Argentinean reader Fer No. 65 sent in a tip from his local press:

Newspapers here are saying that Bernie Eclestone said he wants to go back to the land of Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentina, my homeland). And they say Herman Tilke visited Mar del Plata (the place the Davis Cup final was held last year) to build a Street Grand Prix circuit on the streets that saw the likes of Ascari, Fangio, Gonzalez and more compete when F1 hasn’t even been created yet.

I follow many british motorsport websites, like yours, PlanetF1, GPUpdate, Autosport and more, but i can’t find where Bernie said that. I imagine it’s just a rumour and local newspapers are just getting quite wrong… but i’d like to ask you, do you know anything about an Argentinean Grand Prix near future?

Newspapers also say that the Grand Prix would be held next year, with the circuit being finished around July 2010… I quite doubt it honestly, but anyway,it could be the best oportunity for me to go to an F1 race even if it sounds more like a far far dream than a real project :)

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but with F1 down to just a single race in the Americas it would be great if it found another venue over there soon. I haven’t read anything about it myself, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it.

Argentina, which gave us Juan Manuel Fangio and Carlos Reutemann, definitely deserves a place on the F1 calendar. The best solution would be a race at the fabulous new a href=”/2008/11/26/dear-bernie-please-put-a-race-on-here-portero-de-los-funes-san-luis-argentina/”>Potrero de los Funes track in San Luis. In was used for an FIA GT round last year, but sadly does not meet the necessary standards to hold an F1 race.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “F1 to return to Argentina?”

  1. I would agree that it would be nice to go back to Argentina,but i’m not sure many people who comment on this site will want another street circuit.

    Personally speaking if we’re gonna have another street circuit then make it PHOENIX. I bet a lot will asky why.
    Just me being lazy because I live in Phoenix lol

  2. One question i’d like to ask Keith and the rest of the experts on this site, because Keith mentioned that Potrero de los Funes track in San Luis. is not upto F1 standards.

    Well what i would like to know is what makes one circuit better suited to F1 than another circuit. For instance indycar/IRL drive on some great circuits and have in the past that could be great for F1, and IRL cars go faster than F1 cars. I mean if those cars can go faster than an F1 car then F1 cars should be fine on those circuits. I think a lot of people would love to see Laguna Seca on the F1 calendar.

    Or am i missing something????

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      23rd May 2009, 0:56

      Similar question from me.
      I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before, but why does Potrero de los Funes not meet F1’s standards?
      If it’s about run-off etc. then I don’t really see how they could justify choosing a street circuit instead, as that would obviously have even less run-off.

    2. Potrero de los funes is not a F1 circuit because of its boxes. It’s only able to hold races like WTCC, FIA GT and more but no F1.

    3. Hi scunnyman
      I`m no expert but seek & ye shall find.
      It`s easier for me to give you a link (click here) than go into detail.
      Be warned, it`s not exciting reading :)

    4. leguna seca violates most of articles 7 and 8. i say to hell with articles 7 and 8!

  3. Many things like the gradients, change of altitudes, blind crests, banking are outside the legal and safe limit set for F1. Classic tracks like Spa stay on the calendar because they have been secured by a contract. Hence the reason why almost all new tracks are lifeless and boring.

    1. I can understand that the FIA want to be seen to be all safety conscious with rules for tracks as you say, but it’s motor racing, and motor racing at it’s pinnacle, supposedly. It should be a challenge, and a little dangerous.
      Like i said you get IRL cars driving at speeds faster than an F1 car on tracks which FIA deem unsafe for F1. Well if it’s deemed safe for IRL then logically it has to be safe for F1 cars.

      I just think it is a case of FIA going over the top with safety for safety’s sake. I don’t mean to that safety is wrong, But it’s like Health and Safety at it’s worst.

      I want to see the best cars with best drivers on the best, most exciting, most exhilerating circuits.

    1. Yes was a good article and good comments. I don’t totally blame Herman Tilke for these tracks being on the boring unimaginative side.

      I still say why can’t an F1 car go through the corkscrew turn at Laguna Seca if an IRL car can. Is the FIA saying IRL cars are safer?

      If someone can tell me where i am going wrong in my analysis, if i am, i welcome it.

    2. scunnyman

      You’re not going wrong anywhere mate, most of the circuits we’d like to see on the calender are safe enough for F1 and would be suitable for a GP, F1 is just an old boys club and Bernie & Max are the oldest boys there.

      A circuit only gets a race if it benefits Bernie (CVC) and Max (FIA) financially & politicly, they don’t care about the quality of the racing or the needs of the general fans while safety is largely a catch all excuse for when they don’t want to race somewhere.

      Trying to use logic and reason to understand the inner workings of F1 will get you nowhere.

  4. Hi Keith, I have a few pics of my car inside the Potrero circuit that I took in March. I was very dissapointed that the CompactFlash card of my camera became corrupted so only a few pics survived, but I can send them to you tomorrow if you want to have a look. I’m not qualified to say if the pit lane could be adapted to F1 standards, but if they can do it at Montecarlo…

  5. F1 would do itself a great service returning to Argentina, the land of Fangio. In many ways, Fangio was F1’s first megastar, long before Clark and Senna, Prost and Schumacher. He was the template for the multiple F1 champion, and an inspiration to millions in that region and worldwide.
    Atleast South Americans ‘get’ Formula One, unlike alot of other nations hosting races nowadays. Bring it on!

  6. Here is the news-
    Ecclestone in talks with Argentina

    Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he is in talks with the Argentina government officials to discuss a possible return to the South American country. The last Formula 1 race in Argentina was held back in 1998 and won by Michael Schumacher.

    Speaking about the possibility of returning to Argentina Ecclestone said: “I am talking to people in Argentina indeed. We’ve just started talking though.”

  7. So he is in talk with Argentina and Russia and India and Korea and even Mexico. Lot’s of people want Montreal back, and boring tracks like Barcelona and Hungary to go away. And at the same time both Magny Cours and Donington are uncertain. But they (teams) still don’t want more than 18 races. Do I see a maximum of 4-5 races in Europe in a few years time?

  8. Prisoner Monkeys
    23rd May 2009, 13:02

    I’ve just taken a look at Mar del Plata on Google Maps and Google Earth, and, wel, there’s not a hell of a lot there. Most of the city is not just built on a grid pattern, but the roads are all evenly spaced, unlike in America where city blocks tend to be wider than they are longer.

    That said, there is hope: there’s a stretch about four kilometres long across the coast line that’s a pretty interesting piece of road. Connecting it up would result in a series of long straights with ninety-degree bends, but it’s better than nothing.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      23rd May 2009, 13:08

      Also, from the looks of things, the might of the Atlantic it throwing itself at the rocky shore. I love the idea of a Grand Prix being run along what might as well be the edge of the world like that.

    2. before F1 was created, european drivers raced there, in Mar del Plata. They used the road that goes aside of the coast, which is wide and has straights and many corners itself.

      I’ve been there million times, and i always thought that could be a great street track.

    3. Prisoner Monkeys
      23rd May 2009, 14:56

      Yeah, but the thing is that the full stretch from the hotel and beaches down to the navy yeard is about four kilometres, which means they have to come back to the starting point, which would be another three or four across the town.

    4. at one point the road is divided… one goes down to the beach and the other goes along with the city… they could redesing that bit to host the grand prix. I tell you i’ve been there and there’s plenty of room to work if they want to do a street circuit…

      tho i sincerely hope they get rid of the street course idea and go to Potrero de los Funes

    5. Prisoner Monkeys
      23rd May 2009, 16:24

      Hmm, well, I considered that as a possiblity on Google Maps, but when I opened Google Earth the road right down along the beach barely looked wide enough for the pits.

      Only time will tell, I guess.

  9. Any other race in North and or South America would be great. Another street circuit is a definate NO, and especially even more so if Tilke is involved…

  10. They should so go to San Luis, maybe a bit unsafe for F1 speeds though :(

  11. Not Tilke again…. ARRRGGGGHHH!

    1. Street Circuit…. ARRRGGGGHHH!

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      24th May 2009, 11:00

      Take a look at Mar del Plata on Google Maps. While the bulk of it is ninety-degree stuff, the widest roads – ergo the ones most likely to be used – follow the contours of the coastline. Valencia might be a little bland (personally I still give it the benefit of the doubt because sometimes you just have a bad race), but in twenty-five corners, just four of them are ninety-degree affairs.

      Take a look at these, both of them things I fixed up in the space of fifteen minutes. Both are street circuits around Mar del Plata, and neither of them are made solely of ninety degree corners:



      And both of them – I’d like to think – work as street circuits.

  12. They need to bring Montreal back!! Welcoming back Argentina would excellent as well. But Hey, Bernie sells it to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, the Asian countries have the money which the Argies dont have at this point.

    On top of that, we havent really had that many Argie F1 talents come out of late..the last one was Gaston Mezzacane?

    Like I’ve said before, we’re in danger of loosing quite a few more of the classic races, they really need to think of rotational policy of some kind. I would really like to see the races back at Imola, Magny-Cours and Hokkenheim…and bring back Kyalami!!

    I think it will be armageddon when the pull out SpA!

    1. I agree with everything you’ve said there, but you’re forgetting at least one venue in the United States…

      Also, there were a few years as of late that diden;t include a race at Spa- I believe most of it was down to contract/financial problems, but hopefully we’ll have no more of that with such a great venue.

  13. Argentna, unlike many of the other recent/prospective additions to the F1 calendar, is a natural place for F1. Some great drivers from the country, and with only one race in South/Central America, it could use some more attention. I would bet that the crowds would be loud and passionate, and you’d have many fans from other countries joining the natives for what would hopefully be a great race.

  14. F1 is controlled by a bunch of old guys who need to just resign. They need to go home and watch the races on tv like most.

    The f1 teams should make thier own series and race where the people are.

    The amount of people at silverstone was amazing.

    The people come out in imola,canada,us,south america,uk,germany,france(not magny cours/ bugatti circuit would work)
    You cant tell me the fans wouldn’t come out in le mans.

    Let the drivers and the teams determine where they want to race.

  15. The pit road at Potrero de los Funes is just fine. It’s at least wide enough to meet European standard, and given that it can handle 45-50 touring cars/GTs, 20-26 F1 cars will NOT be a problem in the least.

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