Leaked documents have revealed that the site earmarked for a new racetrack in Rio de Janeiro linked with hosting Formula 1 in the future could remain an active minefield.
A new track is being constructed on the site of the Deodoro military base, which was used as a hosting venue in the 2016 Olympic Games.
MotoGP has agreed a deal to race at the new venue, while Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro had claimed that F1 would also make the move, although organisers at Interlagos, where F1 has raced every year since 1990, remain confident of keeping the race in Sao Paulo.
A report by Sportlight Agency has uncovered reports pertaining to the site’s decommissioning as a military base, which claim that a sweep of the area for mines was not fully completed.
It is estimated that 167,000 items were found and safely detonated in sweeps of the area in 2014 and 2015.
However, documents say that “permanently flooded areas and watercourses were not subject to sweeping, taking into account the limited materials and techniques available to perform the task”.
News of F1’s potential move to Rio was not warmly welcomed by everyone, including world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton is naturally a fan of Interlagos, having won his maiden world title at the track in 2008, but he believes the resources being put into the new circuit could be better used elsewhere.
“I think honestly there is a lot of money that goes into building a new circuit,” he said during this year’s Brazilian GP.
“We already have a historic circuit here, we don’t need to cut any more rainforest down, do any more damage.
“That money could go to better causes here, it could go to the infrastructure of the cities, there is a lot of poverty still.”