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Formula E forced to postpone inaugural Brazilian race

The inaugural Brazil ePrix has been postponed for a year by the Formula E electric car-racing series due to issues surrounding the ownership of the planned race venue.

Sao Paulo had been due to stage an event on March 17 next year. The city was one of four new destinations included on the provisional calendar for the 2017-18 Formula E season, along with Zurich in Switzerland, Santiago in Chile and the Italian capital of Rome.

However, Formula E is now seeking a replacement for the Brazilian ePrix amid delays in the sale of Anhembi Park, the intended site for the race.

The city of Sao Paulo began the process of selling the site to a private buyer upon being awarded the event earlier this year. The process is still ongoing and, as a result, Formula E has opted to delay the race for a year.

In a statement released to the Autosport website, a Formula E spokesperson said: “The Sao Paulo city authorities have asked us to postpone the race to season five, due to an ongoing process of privatisation of the Anhembi Park venue.

“Racing in city centres always poses challenges and as this process is taking longer than expected, in agreement with the city of Sao Paulo, we've decided to place negotiations on standby until the privatisation process is complete – with the city specifying their desire to be considered on the calendar for next year.

“In the meantime, we've prepared an alternative solution for this season that will be formally presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris next week.”

Formula E’s defending champion, Lucas di Grassi (pictured), is Brazilian, as is inaugural winner Nelson Piquet Jr.

The 2017-18 Formula E season gets underway this weekend with a double-header in Hong Kong.