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Argentina Grand Prix takes step closer

Argentina has been trying to bring Formula One back to their country for many years.

Back in December the track designers behind the new Formula One circuit in India and the recent Silverstone redesign were aiming to bring F1 back to Argentina with a new purpose built Velociudad Speedcity track in Zarate [100km from Buenos Aires].

The plan was to build a 4.7 km circuit, suitable for Formula One, MotoGP and endurance races like Le Mans.

However after the initial reports, things went cold, until he country's president Cristina Fernandez stated that Argentina was close to an agreement to host Formula One for three years beginning in 2013.

'We are closing [the deal], For three years, in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the city of Mar del Plata.' Fernandez told Autosport Magazine.

Mar del Plata is situated 400 km south of Buenos Aires on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Mar del Plata is the seventh largest city in Argentina with its economy based around its fishing ports, whilst it is also a popular tourist destination as it is the biggest seaside beach resort in country.

'For us it will be very important because after football, racing is the second favourite sport for Argentinians. Getting Formula 1 back to Argentina is something we deserve in order to be able to show the things we have.'

Argentina have hosted Formula One Grand Prix's intermittently since 1953.

The first race was won by Italian Alberto Ascari in a Ferrari around the old Buenos Aires circuit, but between 1954 and 1957 the race was dominated by Argentina's own Juan Manuel Fangio who won all four races, even when he didn't start in 1956 he took over Luigi Musso's car on lap 29 in fifth and still went on to win!

Stirling Moss won the 1958 race, while Bruce McLaren won in 1960, but the race was beginning to dip in and out of the Formula One calendar and did not run in 1959 or between the years 1961 and 1970.

The race returned in the 1970's with Emerson Fittipaldi the most successful driver winning the 1973 and 1975 races, but once again in 1976 the race was not held and again between 1982 and 1994 there was another long absence until the race returned for another four years between 1995 and 1998, with Damon Hill winning twice in 1995 and 1996 and Michael Schumacher winning the last race in Argentina in 1998.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 15 2012

Time: 10:00AM

 

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