Will Formula 1 Return to Argentina? Fan’s Perspective

For the first time since 1998, it looks like Formula 1 just might return to the great South American country of Argentina. The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announced the news via the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, reported by Yahoo Sport UK.

2010 Canadian Grand Prix
Wikimedia Commons

Argentina is the home of one of my favorite Formula 1 drivers of all time, Juan Manuel Fangio, the greatest racer of the pre-1960s era. I think Fangio is the greatest Formula 1driver ever, having won five Formula One World Championships, racing with four different teams: Alfa Romeo, Mercedes (twice), Ferrari and Maserati. And yes, while Michael Schumacher now has won more F1 world championships, Fangio retains the highest winning percentage in Formula 1: 47.06 percent, to Schumacher's 31.60 percent (through the 2011 season). Fangio won the Argentine Grand Prix four times and is the only Argentine driver to ever do so.

In an interview with La Nacion and reported by Yahoo Sport UK, Argentine President Fernandez said : "I was brought the proposal to stage Formula One in Argentina and we're reaching agreement. God willing, we'll have Formula One in Argentina." The newspaper reported the race will not be in the country's capital of Buenos Aires, but in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata. The race is planned for November or December and it will be a three-year deal, 2013, 2014 and 2015. As there is no F1 race track there, we can assume it will be a street course, built for the race.

The last Argentine Grand Prix was held in 1998 at the Oscar Galvez circuit, located just outside Buenos Aires. The race was won by the man himself, Michael Schumacher. The Argentine race would join the only other South American race, the Brazilian Grand Prix.

I think South America is a key developing market for Formula 1 and it's essential to stage races there to develop the fanbase. Even with great television coverage, there is no substitute for attending a race in person and Formula 1 needs to stage races in these South American countries to really excite the fans. I like seeing F1 return to classic countries like Argentina, where many historic races were held in the past, but for whatever reason, had been dropped from the calendar over the years.

A lifetime auto racing fan, Freddy Sherman collects vintage muscle cars and attends races and rally events in the U.S. and around the world. You can follow him on twitter - @thefredsherman.

More from this contributor:

Will Formula 1 Drop Australia? Fan's Opinion

Formula 1 Grand Prix Race Sponsors: Fan's View

How Can Formula 1 Get More American Fans? Fan's View

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

Updated Friday, Mar 16, 2012