Two countries formerly part of the Formula 1 calendar are evaluating plans which could see both become capable of holding F1 races again.
Argentina and Mexico last held F1 races in 1998 and 1992 respectively, and hosted 35 rounds of the world championship between them.
The Velociudad Argentina circuit will be built in Zarate, close to the capital city Buenos Aires:
A 5.5km track is planned. The image shown above is a concept layout and will not reflect the final design. Design and construction is expected to take two years.
The developers say they are keen to attract an F1 race but the main purpose of the track is to help develop Argentinian racing drivers and teams.
They say they will not make an approach about hosting an F1 race until the project is at a more advanced stage.
They plan to host local racing categories including TC2000. The circuit will be within a short drive of five car manufacturing factories belonging to Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Ford and GM.
This concept footage shows more of the planned development:
The presence of Sergio Perez, Mexico’s first F1 driver in 30 years, could do much to attract backers and help the country regain a spot on the F1 schedule.
FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting recently visited and inspected the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City with a view to the circuit being prepared for FIA Grade 1 status.
The circuit’s owners were given details of the changes they would have to make in order for it to be able to host an F1 race.
It’s not known what changes they would have to make. But the final corner, Peraltada, a high-speed 180-degree right-hander with limited run-off, is a likely source of difficulty.
Single-seater categories which have visited the venue in recent years, such as the defunct A1 Grand Prix (see image) and Champ Car series, have used different configurations at this point on the track.
At one stage the course was diverted through a baseball field in the middle of the corner. Later, Champ Car used a very tight chicane before the corner. Both configurations can be distinguished by zooming in on the map below.
In 2009 the circuit owners planned to use a trio of chicanes to slow the A1GP cars at the corner, but that event was cancelled.
Here is how the track looks at present:
Argentina and Mexico’s F1 history
- Formula 1’s lost nations: Argentina
- Buenos Aires, 1953-1973
- Buenos Aires, 1974-1981
- Buenos Aires, 1995-1998
- Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 1963-1970
- Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 1986-1992
Images © Velociudad Argentina (1-3), Williams/LAT, A1 Grand Prix