Riccardo Patrese, Nigel Mansell, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 1991

Mexico “the right spot” for F1 – Slim

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Riccardo Patrese, Nigel Mansell, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 1991Mexico is the “right spot” for a new F1 race in the Americas according to Carlos Slim Domit.

Domit, an FIA Senate member and son Carlos Slim Helu who is considered to be the world’s richest man, is optimistic of the prospects of returning Mexico to the F1 calendar for the first time since 1992.

“The bond [with F1] is very strong and there could be a good future ahead,” Domit told the FIA’s magazine Auto. “People here are very close to motor sport because of the two Mexican drivers.”

McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez got their F1 breaks thanks to Domit’s Escuderia Telmex programme.

“I believe it is the right choice to have more races in the Americas,” he added. “Races in Europe are difficult to see in America because they are either at three o’clock in the morning or seven o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. But the timing of races in America is perfect for Europe.”

“I believe there is potential to do more races in the Americas and I believe that Mexico is the right spot to do it. It’s a stable country by and large, our economy is doing quite well and we have drivers people can identify with them.

“All of the pieces are coming together and I believe the potential promoters are doing a good job in trying to secure something.”

Tavo Hellmund, who conceived the idea for the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, is among those working on the project, along with Alejandro Soberon of major international entertainment company CIE.

Perez added he is “involved” in the plans for the race, saying: “I think the chances of a new grand prix are very high.” Over 150,000 people turned out to see him perform a demonstration run in Guadalajara in 2011.

Bernie Ecclestone said in February Mexico could hold a round of the world championship next year.

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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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29 comments on “Mexico “the right spot” for F1 – Slim”

  1. that would be nice, however i don’t think it will happen anytime soon

    1. It’s happening, the question is how smooth will the process be.
      There’s the usual problems that every new GP has, like who’s going to come up with the money, like in Austin (everyone thinks Slim but he’s not putting a peso directly on Bernie’s hands, probably just a main sponsor), if they mess with the track layout it has the potential to be boring or not challenging enough with the drivers, like Abu Dhabi.

      However, I think everyone agrees that the race would be a success, even before Pérez and Gutiérrez arrived Mexico was a proven and mature market, unlike the races in Asia that just come and go this one would stay for a long time.

      1. i would prefer a mexican grad prix over any of the new asian ones, but the money part is probably where it’s going to fail… i remember we had talks about magny-cours, istanbul and algarve being in the 2013 calendar, but most of that failed due to money problems! mexico’s economy is growing but will someone risk losing a lot of money? that’s the part i’m worried about. but like i said, i’d welcome a race in mexico immediately!

    2. Mexico is the “right spot” for a new F1 race in the Americas according to Carlos Slim Domit

      Well we hardly expected him to say “Mexico is a **** hole, F1 should not come here”!


  2. Hopefully they will use the excellent Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and not build another “Tilkedrome”.
    The eses section is just awesome. Fingers crossed!

      1. Hey Keith – it appears the link in the article to the 1992 Mexico flashback is broken. I love your flashback pieces so I’d hate for people to miss out!

        And I totally agree about Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez – great track with a perfect location.

        1. Fixed it, thanks!

    1. Agreed, but I am 100% sure drivers would not be allowed to tackle Peraltada without inserting some chicane before it, or using the shortcut through the baseball stadium instead – which would be very very sad to see. Like the butchered Eau Rouge in 1994.

      Even with a full on Peraltada, the Hermanos Eodriguez already lost two of its challenging signature corners, the old decreasing radius Turn 1 and the Hairpin up after current Turn 5.

      Buuuut, I still agree that the track would be a refreshing challenge instead of another Tilkedrom with its 2,000m height above sea level (c. p. the current highest Interlagos on 800m), incredibly bumpy surface (even ten resurfacing would be unable to eradicate all the bumps) and the Esses you just mentioned.

      1. but I am 100% sure drivers would not be allowed to tackle Peraltada without inserting some chicane before it, or using the shortcut through the baseball stadium instead

        Problem with the Peraltada now is that it has zero run-off, Just a concrete wall right next to the track (As its used as an oval).

        There’s no way you could run an F1 car through that corner with the wall where it is.

        Champcar ran through the baseball stadium for a few years:

        Then after that built a chicane:
        A1GP also ran that chicane when they raced there.

        Also a modern F1 car would likely be able to take the final few esses nearly flat & with no run-off there’s no way F1 is going there.

        As great as that circuit is, There would have to be some big changes to the run-off & barriers to make it suitable for F1 because the safety requirements in F1 are higher, Not just from the FIA but also from the GPDA.

        1. As has been said, it is impossible to extend the run off due to the avenue that’s taken up that space (in a perfect world we’d make that avenue an underpass so that the peraltada’s kitty litter could exist atop), but could a soft wall (SAFER barrier, maybe) be used there? How did T13 at Indy manage it?

    2. i was ther in 1991 and 92. Not very special races, except for the big accident senna had saturday for the 91 race at peraltada.
      Full house both years. With 20 million people in town, there is no problem to fill it up. More or less like interlagos.
      f1 belongs there.

  3. I really hope this happens soon!! I would go to this one in a heartbeat!

  4. What tracks would get the boot then?

    1. Korea, but I’ve read somewhere that the maximum the teams would accept is 22.

      1. Didn’t Whitmarsh just say in some recent interview that he thinks the current number of races is too much and he’d prefer a few less? @mantresx

        1. India won’t get the boot and I think Korea will. Bernie will push for a 22 Race Calendar
          I heard that as well but he talks rubbish a lot of the time now regarding the calendar

  5. “Races in Europe are difficult to see in America because they are either at three o’clock in the morning or seven o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. But the timing of races in America is perfect for Europe.”

    Thats is, if your local F1 brodcaster values it highly.
    Polsat, the Polish one, does not. American races are held in prime TV time, so they have to choose between usual evening movies/shows and the qualifying/race… and always choose the first option.

    That said, I undestand their motivation, the viewership figures keep going down every year since 2011 and Kubica’s accident (he was the person to attract large crowds and make airing profitable), so airing F1 may not be the best option money-wise. But not airing any kind of re-live is something F1 audience is really angry at here.

    In 2012 they actually aired a re-live of US GP. Even though it was interrupted by commercial 3 times, it was better than nothing. Unfortunately, this year’s Canadian GP was completely ignored, like that race was never in the calendar. Even their website claimed that the next race is the Great Britain one.

    If Polsat decides to renew their FOM contract (which is doubtful, if you ask me), I’m afraid we’ll see more situations like the Canada one, when we had to rely on poor-quality web streams. That’s why I’m not too keen on having another race in the Americas.

    1. @artanonim the next time your local broadcaster doesn’t cover a race, just watch it on a livestreaming site. In deference to Keith I won’t link to any sites here, but they’re really not hard to find :-)

      1. sorry @artanonim I should have read the last paragraph of your comment properly!

    2. I guess you are right about prime time for motorsports in Europe @artanonim, it would be perfect for fans to have it (instead of spending all of sunday indoors and have the family angry at you), but unless there’s enough fans watching it, stations will just ignore it.

      Personally I have been watching F1 only through streaming for about 8 years now (I hate the local commentary, as its less informed than the average F1Fanatic reader, and then its interrupted by commercials as well), and while the quality is not perfect, its been getting better and better, and I get to hear the races in English too!

  6. I always knew Perez and Gutierrez were in F1 due Carlos Slim backing them.

    1. @ideepak Well yeah it’s been well known for awhile and any other Mexican driver that is sent through the ranks with Telcel/Telmex backing is obviously backed by Slim. And so will the F1 team that is lucky enough to pick them up.

      1. How much is slim paying for both mexicans? And how much did he pay to Sauber to place telmex logoa on their cars?

        I refuse to believe Perez and Guitierrez are both in on Merit, this including McLaren’s choosing of Perez.

        Sauber got Telmex logos on the car when Perez stepped into F1.

        And now he’s gone another Slim backed Mexican took place.

        McLaren is backed by Mexican peso, look at the rear wing. Claro is a company directly run by Slim’s most trusted people, before the logo was Lucozade or ToOnEd. Both, non Slim backed entities.

        Jeez, talk about being born at the right place and the right time with the right connections.
        Who knows what guys loke Kamui or others could have done with such backing.

        1. tell me you wouldn’t have taken advantage of these connections if you had them. Because I would buy my way into F1 (and many other things) if I could. And so would must of the people complaining about “pay drivers”. Its getting really old, seriously

  7. Bernie Ecclestone said in February Mexico could hold a round of the world championship next year.

    Bernie says a lot of things.

  8. Gaston (@golarrazabal)
    25th June 2013, 21:26

    Keith, just an annoying note on Spanish naming customs: in the headline and the article, Carlos Slim Domit should be referred to either as “Slim Domit” or just “Slim”, preferably the former to avoid confusion with his father ;)

    1. @golarrazabal …which I should of course have remembered because Alonso’s full name is Fernando Alonso Diaz. Duly noted and amended.

  9. I think a race in Mexico would be great, as mentioned above, it could have the same kind of feeling as racing at Interlagos.

    But as to whether it will happen anytime soon, lets wait and see. It depends firstly on money being put in, and I doubt Slim Domit would put that money in, he is a businessman, so investments have to bring a return. And paying for an F1 race, I am not sure where the return would come from (does he own property that could be sold for a high price – like the NJ plan is/was?).

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