99% chance F1 will race in Rio de Janeiro in 2021
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has said there's a "99 per cent chance" Formula 1 will race in Rio de Janeiro from 2021, replacing Sao Paulo on the calendar.
Bolsonaro had already stated that Rio would take over hosting duties at a newly constructed venue on a disused military base, with the track layout revealed last month.
Bolsonaro met with Rio governor Wilson Witzel and F1 chief executive Chase Carey on Monday to discuss the plans, as Sao Paulo's current deal is due to expire next year.
"We will not lose Formula 1," he told Brazil's Globo. "The contract expires next year with São Paulo and we have decided to retain F1 in Rio de Janeiro. There's a 99 per cent chance, or more, of having F1 from 2021 in Rio de Janeiro."
Carey however said negotiations with Sao Paulo were ongoing and that nothing had been agreed over the future of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
"We are looking at the possibility of continuing our participation in Brazil from 2021. We do not want to eliminate any possibility, we are negotiating with Rio de Janeiro and with Sao Paulo."
Bolsonaro called on Sao Paulo mayor, João Doria, to think about Brazil and not just his city, given his presidential hopes.
"What the press says is that he will be running for president in 2022," added Bolsonaro. "So he has to think about Brazil and not just his state."