Mexico City could hold 2014 Mexican GP – Ecclestone

2013 F1 season

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Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, Champ Car, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2006Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed he is in discussions about holding a Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City in 2014.

Ecclestone told AutoWeek a previous proposal to hold the race at a venue in Cancun, a popular holiday destination on the country’s eastern coast, had failed.

“Mexico City is a better place to hold the race than Cancun,” said Ecclestone. “In more or less any city around the world you could ask people ‘where is Mexico City?’ and they would say ‘Mexico’.”

“If you said to somebody ‘where is Cancun?’ they would say ‘I don?t know.'”

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City previously held the race between 1963 and 1970 and from 1986 to 1992. It has since held A1 Grand Prix and Champ Car races (pictured).

Among those behind a plan to bring F1 back to Mexico is Tavo Hellmund, who drew up the original plans for the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. Alejandro Soberon, chief executive of live entertainment company CIA group, is also involved in the project.

The third man behind the proposal is FIA Senate member Carlos Slim Domit. He is a patron of the Asociacion Mexicana Automovilistica (Mexican Automobile Association) and son of the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu.

But Ecclestone denied Helu would be funding the race: “Everybody thinks that Carlos Slim is going to pay the bills for the race but I know he?s not,” he said.

Helu is the chairman of Telmex, which backed the career of Sergio Perez via the Escuderia Telmex. It has now brought Esteban Gutierrez into F1 as well, meaning there will be two Mexicans competing in F1 for the first time in 45 years.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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71 comments on “Mexico City could hold 2014 Mexican GP – Ecclestone”

  1. I think Hermanos Rodriguez has the “Spa factor” – a quality that, if you knew Spa-Francorchamps was going to be removed from the calendar, would mean that the circuit would be a suitable replacement.

    1. And before somebody jumps in and says “I’d rather keep Spa and have Mexico City replace Bahrain/Abu Dhabi/Korea/wherever”, that is not the point I’m trying to make.

    2. I see a lot in common with Monza, but very little in common with Spa.

      1. My comments have nothing to do with the physical layout of the circuit, and everything to do with sharing the qualities that make Spa such a great circuit.

        1. …and these qualities (that have nothing to do with physical layout) are?

          1. The challenge of the circuit. The character. The way the corners compliment one another, rather than working in opposition to one another. And so on, and so forth.

      2. @ilanin it looks like a pistol.

        1. But Spa looks more like a submachine gun (or some kind of sci-fi ray gun) than a pistol.

    3. I thought Spa has contract for next year already. A bit confused here.
      Though we can agree that less track in Asia would be ideal (keep Suzuka ofc)

      1. I thought Spa has contract for next year already. A bit confused here.

        It does have a contract. I’m saying that if Spa were to be removed from the calendar, then I would be happy to see the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit be the one to replace it because I think Hermanos Rodriguez shares many of the same qualities that make Spa so great.

        1. Keep trying, I knew what you meant at least! Not too familiar with the circuit itself but the concept makes sense. Not sure if we could say it’s a good or bad thing that there arent more underused circuits around the world with the same spa-factor. Lucky we got Suzuka back in 2009.

    4. this mexico track is nothing like spa, maybe a bit like monza, you are probably just being indulgent in it because past great f1 cars have raced on it, and you have watched dvd reviews of past years and saw mansell do a great move there. also, because it is not made by tilke. i think a lot of tilke tracks are more challenging, only they are not aesthetically nice to look at, but neither is monza anymore, all monza has going for it these days is the high speed, other then that it is quite boring, and usually predictable who will win.

    5. I can run with that, it looks like a fantastic circuit, lots of character. The only bit I’m not that fond of is the Turn 5-6 bit – looks maybe a touch too slow..

      Just in case anyone wants a vanilla map, heres the one off

      1. ANd some footage from on board a radical SR3:

        1. @bendana – thanks for the footage. The Peraltada looks far too dangerous in its current form sadly so clearly the track needs to be updated to be even capable of hosting a race, but if it is it looks a great circuit and I would love to see it on the calendar (especially if it is at the expense of one of the dire Tilkedromes)!

  2. “If you said to somebody ‘where is Cancun?’ they would say ‘I don’t know.’”

    Why is that at all relevant? That’s exactly why you call it the Mexican GP.

    1. Well Matt, it is relevant because I have someone in my household who once asked me if Monza was in Moscow :( ……. guess who that was? Oh yes! The Missus!!

      1. Not sure how you manage to avoid all the ‘Italian GP’ reminders.

    2. Where is Mokpo?

      1. According to google it is near the Korean circuit. What’s the relevance?

  3. “In more or less any city around the world you could ask people ‘where is Mexico City?’ and they would say ‘Mexico’.”

    I’m so so so glad that F1 is clearly pushing more and more for lowest common denominator.


    1. It’s such a stupid comment from Bernie Ecclestone.

      Using his specious logic, should Mexico City fall through, would he choose New Mexico ahead of Cancun because it does what it says on the tin?

    2. @ajokay
      Yeah, ridiculous logic.
      I guess we should just scrap Nurburgring, Spa, Catalunya & Hockenheim because the “average” person wouldn’t know where they are.
      Maybe Bernie should drop them for the “Hollywood GP” or the “Paris GP” or the “London GP”…
      Oh wait..

  4. Mexico 2014, Sochi 2014, Cape Town 2014?, New Jersey 2014, Thai 2015. If I was Bernie I will give it the green light as I support the race to go ahead. It will produce classic racing but I didn’t follow F1 till last year

    1. Firstly, hope your enjoying Formula One and welcome to the community!
      Secondly, I can’t see Cape Town going ahead anytime soon, if it does I will be very surprised. It sounds to me that there are a lot of confusing politics going on in RSA at the moment, and political instability usually doesn’t bode well for organising an F1 race, barring Bahrain circa 2012 and every year for the foreseeable future.
      I can see Thailand getting onto the calendar because of the Red Bull links, Mexico with the Telmex links, Sochi with Petrov and Marussia links and New Jersey because Bernie has always wanted a race along the Manhattan skyline and properly crack the U.S market.
      Also, if Greece ever gets an F1 race despite the country having next-to-no money, then I will have lost faith in every single government in the world. Not that I had much faith anyway!

      1. I sure am as until I realized what is this sport all about until I found out that there was 2 in the field for Australia and there were 7 world champions in the field. I can see where you are coming from for the Cape Town but I found a website that has 2014 Cape Town all over it. Thailand has a contract for 2015 as Bernie said “I say 2015 and they say 2014”, Sochi should be a great GP and so will New Jersey oh and by the way how is New Jersey’s construction going. Greece no chance of securing a spot but who knows they actually put a bid in. It could be an exciting calendar in 2014 and 2015 as new or old circuits start to arrive. Can the teams handle travelling and experiencing difficulties travelling to the new/old circuits? but time will tell in the years to come

    2. I completely agree with you, F1 needs new markets. I still think it should have the majority of the races in Europe, but North America, South America, they have always had a big number of races, and they were quite popular, the fans usually are so enthusiastic about it, it makes for a really nice atmosphere. Africa? Why not! Asia? Go for it, but go carefully, because we don´t want another korean gp debacle, with 60,000 in a 130,000 track

      1. @william @joysenna Agreed, I still think South Africa would be a cool place to hold a race though. A1 Grand Prix used to race on a nifty little street track by the beach in Durban I think it was, so it might be more cost effective to do a street track. The only reason the Korean GP failed/is failing is that it is built 350km from Seoul in the middle of a swamp, which is hardly enticing, and the track has no soul (pardon the pun).

  5. My question is: How are they going to fit the 2014 F1 Calendar into 20 races? Assuming Suzuka signs an extension deal on it’s contract, there will be 21 GPs contracted for next season. Adding a race in Mexico would be 22.
    For me 20 races is about the maximum amount of races that should be on the calendar. So what race or races are going to be dropped? I’m not sure I want to think about that.

    1. The Concorde Agreement that expired at the end of last year called for a maximum of seventeen races, with a provision for three more, on the condition that the teams unanimously agreed to it.

      It is believed that the Concorde Agreement that is due to come into effect this year calls for a maximum of twenty races, with a provision for four more, again on the condition that the teams unanimously agreed to it.

  6. “If you said to somebody ‘where is Cancun?’ they would say ‘I don’t know.’”

    Everyone in Latin America knows Cancun… and to be fair, compared to “where’s Mexico City?… Mexico” anything you ask is hard. Seriously, who would reply anything but “Mexico” ?

    1. Um “Central America”?

      1. actually… Mexico is considered to be part of North America… Central america is made up of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama..

    2. That’s exactly what I thought: “where’s Mexico City”
      “Ehm…China”?! Nobody would say that for the risk of looking like an utter fool.

  7. Possibly Cape Town and that will be 23 in 2014, Thai in 2015 if Brazil and Canada extend the agreement with Bernie then that will be 24. I would like to see more races in America and that’s enough in Asia after Thailand. They should have more races in August 1 or 2 and in March 1 or 2 so it is a season that runs right through from March to November. Keep Albert Park as a season opener as it has become like a tradition

  8. I would NOT want to go to Mexico to do anything anymore. The contry is full of corruption and crime is very high. The drug cartels are taking over.

    Why Bernie thinks one billionaire and his money is worth the safety concerns for F1 is beyound me.

    1. I Love the Pope
      25th February 2013, 12:51

      Yes, parts of Mexico are anarchic war zones.

    2. im with you, let this country fix its problems before hosting a race, there are other more worthy countries. Bernie only cares about money, hence why he wants races in bahrain.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      25th February 2013, 14:09

      That comment of yours is so general as to say “I wouldn’t go to the US because any psycho can get in the cinema and kill me. I’m not Mexican, but if you say you should only visit places without corruption and crime, then I would apply for the Astronauts program

      1. LOL Mr. Pepper, I like your cynicism.

        BTW, do you think the outer space is without corruption? The Mars-men may not agree with you ……… :P

      2. @omarr-pepper

        I agree America is no utopia but please let us not compare USA with Mehico.

        Mexico is a Western Pakistan. The only difference is people are killed in the name of money – gang loyalty – factions/etc.

        Even tourist resorts have become hotbeds for violence in Mexico. The fact that tourism has plummeted might be telling.

        However I do wonder whether the fact that since only the upper segment of society usually attend such events – there might be a mitigation of any embarrassment for the race organizers.

        I doubt there would be any problem at the circuit itself – the only risk is getting to and from the circuit. If Brazil was conducive to Jensen button almost getting mugged at a red light – imagine what would happen in the nation where cartels move freely in convoys!!!!

        1. “Mexico is a western Pakistan”
          I hate people making arguments by the information they get in the news. Every place in the world have some risks so you better watch all season in TV,
          I think F1 needs more races in America, people in America have to be awake till 3-5 am to see most Asians GPs. I been in Chinese and koren GPs and see no passion at all. So more European and American GPs would do great in my opinion.

          1. @paulmaster

            this is information I’ve received from Mexican friends!!! They’ve told me how horrid it is there.

            Every place in the world has risks, sure. But the last time I opened a paper I didn’t hear about 30 headless bodies thrown in a mass grave beside a highway in Brazil/Bahrain.

            I agree more F1 races should be in the USA; a circuit through Manhattan would be nice, a circuit through the Golden Gate with the SFO hills backdrop would be nice too.

            However I doubt any of this makes monetary sense. Frankly if Americans knew about F1 much or were passionate enough then why would Ecclestone not capitalize on this business potential ?

            Ecclestone always goes where the money is and if he finds USA suitable of only one circuit per season – that says quite a bit.

          2. I live in Mexico, and I can tell you things are dificult but violence isn´t everywhere. And most of people are not exposed to that violence.
            I particularly liked the Idea of the NY GP, but I was not referring US as America, as you know America has more than 38 Contrys so I also like the idea of having a GP in Argentina, Chile, Venezuela or Colombia.
            Last year I was at COTA (Austin) and see many of my fellow countryman fill the stands, In Mexico there is a huge amount of F1 fans, so I particularly love a Mexican GP it would be way more exiting, succesfull, and interesting than some of the current asian GPs.

          3. @paulmaster “In Mexico there is a huge amount of F1 fans ”

            I would assume so – thanks to your Carlos-Slim-backed-Checo , I think Mexicans’ interest in F1 would only increase, considering he is A WDC contender this year.

            In fact a Mexican GP makes more sense now. Similar to how Narain Karthikeyan’s involvement made F1’s transit into india easier ( not that even his own countrymen support him LOL).

            I can only imagine, having been at COTA last year I was shocked by how many Mexicans showed up, and that too – wealthy ones. Never had I seen more decent European cars with Mexican license plates in my whole life!

            Mexican flags everywhere as far as the eyes could see, and screams of “CHEECOOOOOOO!!” As long as the ears could hear!

            Which Asian GP do u dislike ?

          4. I don´t like Chinese and Korean GP, both with empty stands during qualifications and free practices, and half empty during Raceday, mainly I think because the lack of interest of the local people, ofcourse Shangai International Circuit is huge, but there you can’t feel a great atmosphere, I was there in 2007 on Kimi’s victory, and i don’t feel like coming back. Korean GP with lots of track problems as we saw last season. Two Grand prix that are rarely remembered after season ends. Wouln’t you like to see an Argentinian and Mexican GPs instead?

          5. Ahm, its really interesting that you choose this one @ideepak

            Every place in the world has risks, sure. But the last time I opened a paper I didn’t hear about 30 headless bodies thrown in a mass grave beside a highway in Brazil/Bahrain.

            Did you forget about people being afraid to go to brazil last year after some only narrowly escaped gunpoint crime in 2011. And as for comparing the dangers in Mexico and those in Bahrain, well just look up Bahrain and see how easy going things there are in the last couple of years.

            Sure, Mexico has big problems, but possibly rejuvenating the area around the race track will do more to fight that than to promote violence

      3. hen I would apply for the Astronauts program

        I’m afraid that is full of corruption too (what with defense contracts defining the spending on research etc.), but an ace comment anyway @omarr-pepper

  9. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know where Cancun is. Bernie is mad.

  10. Seriously…, I’m from southern California and I won’t go anywhere near Mexico till things improve down there. The danger is very real, even in the resort towns where many tourists foolishly think they’re safe. Even though the prospect of another race on this continent excites me to no end, I think with things as they are, holding a race anywhere in that country is the single dumbest idea I’ve heard in a really long time.

    1. Well in all fairness the race would be in Mexico City not in Tijuana, Juárez, Culiacán or any of the other “dangerous” cities, also it can’t be worse than the Brazil or Bahrain races.

      1. @mantresx there are still mass kidnappings and violence even in Mexico City

        1. Checo Sánchez
          27th February 2013, 0:15

          Really? I live here, and you have no idea what you’re talking about. As most of all people that area afraid of visiting the country, claiming that violence is everywhere, when in fact, violence is limited to a few cities, the majority of them being close to the U.S.

    2. Seriously…, I’m from southern Europe and I won’t go anywhere near a TV in USA till things improve down there. The danger is very real, even on the “independent channels” where many citizens foolishly think they’re safe, but they are getting brainwashed by the propaganda of the military industrial complex known as USA government.

      1. @brace the sheer ignorance on display in your pathetic attempt to mock me requires a response. First of all, unlike you, I actually spend a great deal of time with Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. I grew up with them in Santa Monica and I know the culture very, very well. I have also been to Mexico probably forty or so times surfing and drinking when I was younger. My information and attitude regarding going there comes from Mexican Americans themselves that own properties and have Family down there. If they are hesitant to set foot down there and tourism has decreased dramatically due to real world incidents ( that ive heard of personally) then that hardly qualifies as what you so poorly described. In your attempt to make a snide comment in answer to mine you have revealed how little you actually know about the danger down there

    3. What difference does it make. You have South Central LA!

      1. @deepak. i grew up in Santa Monica which is twenty minutes from South Central. I have been there on many occasions and it is defintely rough, but there is absolutely no comparison. We also have Beverly Hills, Malibu, Hollywood, Pacific Palisades and Marina Del Rey… that comment was just kind of silly

    4. Yes let’s race only in grade AAA countries, oh wait not many left !
      I been to USA and Mexico several times last year and didn’t see no serial killers or gangstrying to assault me and yes was driving a ferrari most fo the time !

  11. I would love to see the GP In mexico again, however this track wouldn’t be good anymore. In the final races of champcar and A1GP, the track had to run with either a cut through the baseball stadium, or a chicane before Peraltada. Both options near ruin the track, and there is absolutely no way that F1 could use the full Peraltada. There are no options for creating additional runoff either.

    1. You are right, I’m wondering how are they planning to solve that problem, It would have been fantastic if they had considered a run off area in peraltada on original layout, but that awful chicane used in ChampCar not an option.

  12. Is the final corner still usable/safe?
    Or would they go through the baseball stadium?

    1. The only thing that would hurt having the full run into the Peraltada is there is currently no runoff area. It might be the only case of previously existing runoff getting eliminated. I’d personally rather have the full corner as it was already a 150MPH corner back in 1991/1992. The other issue with the circuit is the track surface. It’s very bumpy, and I don’t know how much a repaving would solve.

    2. There isn’t much room for an expansion of the current minimal run-off as you can see if you zoom in on the satellite map on google Keith has provided. So realistically we are either looking at a slowed entry (through the use of a chicane) or a re-profiling of the corner either bringing it further to the east or tightening it up to reduce the speed generally.

      So I doubt we will see it used in its current form sadly.

  13. As long as they don’t change the Parabala

    1. Sadly I think the peraltada will have to be slowed, as there is very minimal run-off due to the close proximity of the main road behind it (and so it can’t simply be extended) @xjr15jaaag. :(

      1. I think it’s a concrete barrier that runs round the outside of the corner, much like a turn at an oval. Disadvantage, as you said, no run off. I have spotted an advantage however. There is no gravel trap to flip the car wildly out of control.

    2. The first time A1GP came to Mexico City, they used the full Peraltada at full speed, it was pretty spectacular. I doubt F1 will do the same IF they return to Mexico.

      1. That must’ve been spectacular… I’d be excited to see this track in use, but it’s because it reminds me so much of Monza. Given that it’s on an oval… I suppose the Peraltada is banked, as opposed to Monza’s Parabolica which is flat.

        I just want more high-speed tracks like this as opposed to slower races like Singapore and Abu Dhabi…

  14. Well, I for one am hoping this goes through…. I was making plans on going to Brasil 2013 but it seems that there will be an even closer one for me to go to next year.

    I understand how most F1 fans might be afraid of going to Mexico… Most of them would stand out like sore thumbs making themselves easy targets… Never thought I´d be happy to be “brown”, hahahhaa.
    Anyways, yes it is a dangerous country but the drug wars do not take place in Mexico DF. Those go on in the northern part of the country near the border so if you feel you are street-smart enough to take the trip… go ahead; It just makes be giggle how you consider Mexico to be SOOOOOOOOO dangerous when Brazil has it´s own criminal nest in the “favelas”… And wasn´t it in Brazil they sort of almost robbed Button??

  15. I saw the Champcar & A1GP races held on this track & they were all quite dull.

    Its like Magny-cource, a nice circuit but everything i’ve seen race there has produced dull races because of the nature of circuit layout.

  16. Must of people dont have an idea when they talk about danger in Mexico. Hope to see Mexican GP on 2014 calendar to show all people how we can make a great event here in this country. I bet it would be so crowded.

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