Keeping health and safety in mind, Formula 1 recently announced that it wouldn’t be racing in the Americas. The decision to pull the plug on the Brazilian Grand Prix hasn’t gone down too well with the promoter of the Sao Paulo F1 race.
Tamas Rohonyi, who promotes the Brazilian GP, didn’t hold back from sharing his honest opinion on the cancellation. Rohonyi dismissed F1’s claims of the rise in COVID-19 cases, playing a part in Formula One’s choice not to race in the Americas.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Rohonyi said:
“First of all this cancellation caught us not by surprise. But I must say the justification, the reasoning behind it, we cannot accept.”
“They talk about the virus infection rate in Brazil. Which is a bit like comparing California to Florida in a country like Brazil, which is of continental dimensions.
“In fact, if you look at the figures of Sao Paulo, even Brazil, in a proportional base, compared to England, it’s much better.”
Rohonyi went on to claim that circuit authorities would’ve followed necessary protocols and guidelines while hosting the race.
“What I found really strange is that the whole approach is sort of rather simplistic. ‘Oh, it’s the pandemic, we’re terribly sorry, we don’t want to go, we cannot go’.”
The Brazilian also highlighted the financial repercussions of canceling the race in South America. Rohonyi revealed that his organization was seeking legal opinion on the cancellation.
“F1 promoter agreements have only one clause which would allow any of the two parties to break off the contract.
“And none of this is force majeure. We are taking legal advice because there are massive losses by the municipality, and by my company.”
Formula 1 has compensated for the lack of races in the Americas by announcing 3 events in Europe. Following the Russian Grand Prix on September 6, F1 will race in Imola, Nurburgring, and Portimao.
The sport returns to Portugal after a near 25-year gap. The country last held a race in Estoril in 1996.
Considering the effect of the pandemic during the early stages of the season, nobody could’ve predicted such a fascinating calendar in 2020.