Skip to main content

Argentina starts building new F1 circuit

updated 5:12 PM EST, Mon December 19, 2011
Michael Schumacher celebrates after winning the last Argentine Grand Prix to be raced, in April 1998.
Michael Schumacher celebrates after winning the last Argentine Grand Prix to be raced, in April 1998.
  • Work begins on constructing a new racing circuit in Argentina
  • South American nation last hosted a Formula One event in 1998
  • New track outside Buenos Aires is expected to be finished by late 2014

(CNN) -- Argentina's bid to host a Formula One race for the first time in more than a decade is under way after work started on a new circuit outside the capital Buenos Aires.

The $100 million project is expected to be completed in two stages by the end of 2014. It is being built by global design firm Populous, which helped redevelop Britain's Silverstone circuit.

"We are really proud to contribute with our design to create a new destination for F1, which always means an economic catalyst for the area and produces global exposure," said the company's associate principal John Rhodes.

"During the last five years we have developed technology, software, and design techniques through the use of simulation to physically test the design of a circuit.

We are really proud to contribute with our design to create a new destination for F1
John Rhodes of Populous

"These pioneering techniques have enabled the creation of a topographically exciting and challenging medium-speed circuit on what was a relatively square and flat 63-hectare site."

Ground was broken on the Velociudad Speedcity site, situated 80 kilometers from Buenos Aires, on Friday.

The first phase of construction, expected to last 14 months, will include a 3.1-kilometer track, pit lane, garages and an off-road track.

The second will extend the circuit to 4.7 kilometers in order to qualify for a race licence.

Populous, which is also working on a possible F1 project in the Indian city of Mumbai, said the Argentine development would require the movement of one million cubic meters of soil.

The Argentine Grand Prix was held from 1953 to 1998 at Buenos Aires' Autodromo Juan y Oscar Galvez circuit.

The last race there was won by Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, who at that stage had won two of his record seven world titles -- the next would come in 2000.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.