Five-year Mexican Grand Prix deal signed – report

2015 F1 season

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Formula One will return to Mexico next year at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, according to reports in Mexico.

The local Reforma newspaper claims Bernie Ecclestone has signed a five-year deal for F1 to return to the track from 2015.

F1 last raced in Mexico between 1986 and 1992 (pictured) at the parkland circuit in Mexico City. Prior to that the Mexican Grand Prix was part of the championship calendar between 1963 and 1970.

The race is expected to be held late in the season, either before or after the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Upgrades to the circuit and its infrastructure will be needed before the race can go ahead. FIA track inspector Charlie Whiting has visited the track in recent years.

Mexican promotions company OCESA is behind the move to bring F1 back to a country which currently has two drivers in the field – Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez. Both were helped on their way to F1 by Escuderia Telmex, which is part of the Mexican telecommunications giant.

In 2011 Sergio Perez drove an F1 car at a street demonstration in Guadalajara which attracted over 150,000 people.

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez aerial map

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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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85 comments on “Five-year Mexican Grand Prix deal signed – report”

  1. Neat.

    That is, unless Tilke straight-and-hairpins the hell out of this fantastic venue.

    1. They should get the guys who did the Silverstone Arena changes

      1. machinesteve
        22nd July 2014, 17:03

        No they shouldn’t….the new pits is an architectural and sporting abomination. Who gives a damn about the poor peasants who pay to watch and then builds a buried pitlane that is invisible and miles away from the very same spectators…I mean I ask you.

        1. The peasants in the Paddock Club can see fine :P

        2. Funny, I was able to see into the pitlane easily from the grandstand opposite when I was there in April.

      2. The new Silverstone layout is appalling. I’d rather have Herman Tilke.

        1. Creating two new overtaking opportunities and preserving the high-speed nature of the track is appalling?

      3. I absolutely agree.

        They restored Abbey to a fast flick.
        They made Brooklands a neat, tight and tricky decreasing radius corner.
        Last, but not least, they made more overtaking spots from four and a half new or redesigned corners than there already was on the other parts or the layout – and they achieved this without a mile-length straight, just by using clever ideas (like building in a flat-out kink before any kind of straight with any kind of a medium-to-low speed next corner on its other end, á lá Eau Rouge-Kemmel, which best facilitates overtaking on the whole calendar).

        I think they are called Populous or something.

        But I don’t pin high hopes on this, I think Tilke will mess up the Hermanos Rodriguez big time.

        1. *of instead of or in row 5

      4. @raceprouk Taking out the bridge of the layout was bad enough, to take also the opportunity of other race classes to use the bridge was an abomination, the new Silverstone is the worse version ever of their layout thankfully though the races have been great there.

        1. Couldn’t agree more. Killing of bridge corner was a crime.

          1. I dunno, I think the updated Abbey kinda fills that niche :P

        2. The Bridge section of track still exists, it’s just been decommissioned. I doubt it’ll return, but the option is open.

  2. Bueno.

    1. Assuming you meant “Good”, in this particular context you should’ve said “Bien”

      (I’m a bilingual grammar nazi and can’t help it LOL)

      1. @carlitox Sorry, my Spanish is about as good as my Mandarin, which is to say non-existent! :) Still thanks for the correction, always nice to learn something.

  3. I think the turn out will be good. Perez always gets a lot of support at COTA.

  4. Wonderful news, its nice to see Bernie finally bringing back old circuits instead of builidng new ones in countries that dont have any interest in F1. He just needs to stop threatening to drop the good tracks like Monza and bring back Turkey

    1. Wasn’t the problem with Turkey the attendance?

      1. Promotion more like… Bernie owns Istanbul Park for FOM, and doesn’t really do promotion, as we know. If only that track was still used…. which boring venue’s track should it replace? :P

        1. It seems the Germans have lost interest in F1, so perhaps Austria is the right replacement for the German GP?

          Now the cars are quieter, perhaps Brands Hatch might be in with a shout again. Wasn’t noise the big problem there?

          I’m amazed France has abandoned F1 – there seems to be no prospect of a French F1 race at all, even though two venues, at least could put one on.

          And then there is the Monza question. I don’t suppose Ferrari will tolerate the idea of F1 without an Italian GP for a second, but the venue might move. At least Italy has a number of superb circuits – Imola anyone?

          I can’t see the Russian GP lasting more than a couple of years – if it even goes ahead this year. China is always poorly attended. I don’t know why the Chinese government coughs up so much money to host a GP.

          Bahrain is such a boring circuit, and it seems almost everyone connected with F1 would rather not go (because of the political troubles) but dare not say so.

          So three cheers for Mexico. Argentina should be next.

          1. There’s that, but there’s also the fact that the lap is too short for an F1 car.

          2. Brands Hatch is too fast for its small size to host an F1 race.

  5. Nice! Count me in already.

  6. Neil (@neilosjames)
    22nd July 2014, 16:30

    Won’t be entirely happy until we know which circuit, if any, is going to dropped to make way for it…

    1. I hope it’s the Yas Marina circuit that gets dropped because it’s a typical Tilke style track. It’s just straight, slow chicane, straight, slow chicane and no exciting fast 5th gear corners or esses like this Mexican track has!

      1. You seriously think Abu Dhabi has double points this year and gets dropped for next year? Please.

    2. They’ll probably just add it in and make a round 20 GPs per season.

      1. There are actually 23 GPs on the tentative schedule. Don’t forget New Jersey and Baku. India is also set for a comeback.
        Lots of shuffling to do. You could even say “everybodys shuffle-n'”

  7. Ho-ly freaking cow.
    Yes finally!! F1 to Mexico!!!
    I’m going for sure.

  8. I guess that brings any chance of a return of Indian GP to a close.

    1. No money = no GP

      1. @fastiesty
        Money was not an issue. It was removed because the Indian Government levied a lot of tax on Formula 1. Bernie didn’t want to pay any money. So, there you go.

        1. @rojov23 True, but it just increased the demand for money from JP, if they have to pay the fee and also the ‘entertainment tax’ (even if on behalf of Bernie/FOM). Given the gimmicks we’ve seen recently, they do have a point…

          1. @fastiesty The tax was not levied on JP. It was levied on the F1 group. The teams had to pay to bring in their equipments. JP made the deposits. The teams and FOM had to pay JP back.

  9. If that is confirmed, the big chnge the track needed is the “curva peraltada” and the adequation of the stands… The curve has been modified for Indy Car races late in the 90’s to enters to the “Foro Sol” cutting the curve in half… an stupid change that the FIA will not allow in a F1 race.

    I was at the last race in 1992 and can’t wait to be there again. It will be amaizing to have a F1 race in México again.

    1. If only they could use SAFER barriers, and bring back the old hairpin with the same, to create a longer lap, overtaking area, and add more to the ‘street circuit’ feel…

      1. They wouldn’t run the full peraltada even if they had safer barriers because of how narrow & blind that corner now is on top of how fast it is.

        If a car goes off there they will likely bounce back onto the track & that would leave nowhere for cars behind to go & because the corners so fast & pretty blind cars behind won’t have time or room to react.

        If they still had some runoff or if the inside was open to give some visibility I could see them looking at running through it, But with it as it now is with Concrete walls inside & outside & the track been narrower than it used to be, There’s no chance they would even consider it.

        They will run through the stadium as Champcar did up until 2006. The additional bonus is that the stadium allows for more spectators.

        1. The problem of running though the stadium is that the previous corner cuto the top speed and reduces the chances of overtaking in the straigth. It’s a 90° corner and the exit is so slow that also is would be very hard to try a overpass in the main staright of pitlane.
          I agree that the peraltada is dangerous, but that’s the challenge of the new design to make it safer, even more slower, but not with the Champcar trace in the stadium.

          1. Problem is that there isn’t much that can be done to make it safer because of whats around the circuit now.

            The stadium is on the inside so you can’t move the corner inwards to create more runoff or at least make it less blind & more open.

            But you can also not extend the runoff on the outside because there are roads & a car part for an indoor arena behind the peraltada wall with residential houses just down the road.

            Thats actually a problem in general around the autódromo hermanos rodríguez, There are residential streets/houses pretty much all around it so doing anything to extend the runoffs or build new sections has to be done on the infield.
            But even that is a bit of a problem as there are local community facilities all over the infield which they would need local residential support in order to alter.

            Here is a current satellite image-

            When the first discussions of F1 going to Mexico came up last year this layout surfaced from one of the circuit owners which seems to show them using the stadium layout-

          2. I heard that they may get rid of the stadium for good. If that is the case the cut move the peraltada turn inwards and create enough run off area to keep it fast!!! imagine how that would look. =D

          3. I live in Mexico City and I visit the area many times. The community facilities can be easily relocated somewhere else in the area improving the run-offs. The main problem still is the stadium. Maybe with a small chicane before the peraltada would work


            Video proyect, exciting! but no more peraltada

  10. YES! Finally I’ll be able to attend a GP again! Last time was in the mid 90s, at the same circuit :)
    Please let Tilke stay away from Peraltada!

    1. ferrox.glideh
      22nd July 2014, 17:08

      I would love to see a return to this track, but how can the Peraltada corner be made safe enough for modern standards with the major roadway just behind it? It reminds me of the issue of Tamborello at Imola- there is not enough room for a serious runoff space on such a high speed corner. The Peraltada is truly epic, so I hope for a solution too.

  11. This is the kind of track that F1 needs at the moment, it seems that Bernie’s flirt with the middle of nowhere tracks with long straights and boring sequences of 90° corners is coming to an end(or forced to do so). Reminds a little bit of Monza. Congratulations to Mexico !!! I just hope other countries who have a history in motorsport will enter the calendar and replace some Tilkedromes. Portugal is not a bad idea at all with Estoril or Portimao which i consider personally as one the most beautiful European circuits.

    1. @tifoso1989 Estoril is ruined. The current layout is worse than a Tilkedrome. It has no redeeming features. Portimao: yes, please!

      1. Portimao would be fun with all those elevation changes.
        At the moment, I think it’s rated as a ‘Class 2’ track by the FIA. Does anyone know what would have to be done to make it a Class 1?

    2. Richard Edmunds
      23rd July 2014, 20:23

      Well don’t speak too soon, I read in a Mexican news website that although the circuit is confirmed, Charlie has visited and inspected the track himself and has ordered a list of things to be done to the track for this day and age F1 safety and regulations. Also the mexican events manager OCESA have contracted…… wait for it………. TILKE to do these changes and also maybe “upgrade” the track layout. So I wouldn’t expect the track to remain the same for the actual race, we’ll just have to wait and see and hope it doesnt become another Tilkedrome as you mention.

  12. Good news. Always nice to see F1 go to venues where there is some form of local fanbase. I remember a Champ Car race a few years back attracted a weekend crowd of over 300,000, which would be a refreshing turnaround after a few pathetic turnouts at F1 races this year.

    Also, from my European perspective, it means another race at dinner time, which is always nice.

  13. Good move! Looks like a classic masterpiece to drive already!

  14. machinesteve
    22nd July 2014, 17:04

    Make the place hot and intense and full of Mexican fire and soul…..please.

  15. viva mexico !!! i am over the moon. The people behind this investment are serious and this should be a good show, a good sports venture, and will surely fire up the mexican F1 crowd. The atmosphere should make it a classic , let alone the track design. Can’t wait !

  16. it’s good that it’s right in the middle of the city, a bit like interlagos. hope they don’t bastardise it too much though…

  17. Gustavo sobrino
    22nd July 2014, 17:36

    I was there two weeks ago and… Uhm, ok let me put it this way: I was there because I went to watch the MTCC (BTCC but mexican and with only seat Leon) and at the beginning they told us that the full course was close because a pipe broke and it folded the “esses” sector. At the end they used the oval with a couple of chicanes.
    My point is, I haven’t seen a single truck go in there to change something, and bealive me, that track needs some work. The main stand is awful and rusty, you can’t see the cars go by. Also, the other main stand is on top of the pits, that’s a big no no for F1. If we’re going to have a race next year, man! They will have to do a titanic effort to fix it to f1 standard.

    1. 15 months to overhaul everything..

    2. They are planning to spend over 800 millions so hopefully we’ll get a refurbished circuit. i hope it retains its iconic turns.

  18. Interesting that Bernie is now signing 5 year deals. Where did the 17 year deals like at Silverstone go? Or up to a decade as usual. Perhaps the money is drying up? Or he wants to renegotiate in 5 years’ time, one last time….

    1. . . . he’ll be gone in five years’ time.

  19. Another significant challenge for 2015 car designers. The altitude will affect cooling, power and aerodynamics. And tyre pressures!

    I wonder when it will fit into the schedule, near Canada or near Austin (which is geographically closer, obviously).

    1. It’s not near to Canada. Austin is about 1,200 km from Mexico City and Montreal is 4,600; its greater than the distance between London and Tel Aviv

  20. I wonder how much the USA GP attendance will drop because of this? I understand a lot of spectators attending the COTA are from Central America.

    1. I have to imagine that it’s going to materially impact USGP attendance. Central Americans have been very well represented in the crowds at both races so far.

      That said, those that I’ve seen and spoken with at COTA were definitely of the wealthier variety, and they may want to come up for the USGP either way (attending just the USGP or both the USGP and the MGP).

  21. Makes sense with at least one long term driving prospect in Perez, a good driver as well. I’m just worried that the track will be wrecked, for safety reasons. A picture like this was in F1 racing when this venture was first rumoured, I think they’re planning to wreck this final corner I’ve heard a lot about…

  22. Looking at the map, it doesn’t look as if there’s a huge amount of space to put in six miles* of run off at every corner. I fear that we may lose the Peraltada corner. It does look as if the entire venue needs work.

    * approximate amount based on circuits like Bahrain.

    1. Though if Formula One chooses to do what Champ Car did, we could end up seeing a silly chicane before Peraltada, which would be a huge shame.

      1. Is the (baseball?) For Sol stadium still used? If not, could the track be re-planned with the Peraltada moved inwards a bit to allow some run off to the outside?

        1. @timothykatz The Foro Sol is still used but only for concerts, not for racing. I don’t want that the FIA bans the use of the Peraltada, because that will ruin the circuit.

          1. Manuel eskauriatza
            24th July 2014, 0:30

            According to local News. The Foro Sol Stadium Will go, leaving behind some of the stands, depending on the new track renovation project.

  23. The return of the “Peraltada”… the curve ‘that divides the men form the child’.

  24. good, i love new tracks.

    does anyone have any information about the new jersey gp? is that still happening?

    1. It’s still due to appear on the 2015 calendar. But considering it was originally due to happen over a year ago, I wouldn’t count on it.

  25. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    22nd July 2014, 20:54

    This great news. Speaking of bringing back former tracks, I really like to look of Estoril. It was way before my time as an F1 fan but looks brilliant for a GP

  26. I bet TCOs invade the circuit and hold all drivers for ransom

  27. Finally!!!!! I will start saving my pennies starting tomorrow and will map out my route because I´m going to drive there…. approximately 1800 kms but I think it will be worth it! Awesome news!! Vamos a Mexico!!!

    1. 1800 kms? where do you live???

      1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras and it´s actualy 1,615 kms away. A 20 hour drive! The only thing that scares me a bit are the “Z´s”…. Other than that, bring it on!

  28. Yes! I’ve said many, many times I’m Mexican, and this is the best news I’ve heard this year!
    But sadly, I think the mexican people really needs to put his head on it seriously. I mean, the circuit is not that damaged, but in case of the grandstands and especially the pits, it really need a lot of work. Also I hope the organizers keep the “Peraltada” (last corner) because is the circuit’s landmark corner, like Turn 1 at COTA, Eau Rouge at Spa and Turn 8 at Istanbul. Also there are lots of fans here in Mexico, which I expect a huge attendance there, but also high security. On track days people enter the circuit by passing on broken walls and bars, which are critical on a race weekend, I don’t want to imagine what would happen if people “infiltrate” to a race there.
    But also I’m really looking forward to watch racing through the esses, at high speed through the straights…. It will be awesome, although it won’t be my first GP. As a pure mexican fan I say the preparations and the race won’t disspaoint any F1 fan.

  29. Looks like a holiday to Mexico just go put back on the cards.

  30. Mexico awesome but how will the teams deal with 21 races. However there is another good news and it includes Germany as the proposal is to have 2 German Grand Prix on the calendar next year but I reckon they should be back to back.

  31. This thread wouldn’t be complete without this…

  32. Israel Humberto Núñez Hernández
    23rd July 2014, 16:08

    Here in Mexico we are very excited about that, the problem is the information cames from Reforma newspaper which is not a very reliable source of information and besides if you see the track it needs a major refactoring I think for next year will be impossible to be on time.

  33. WOW !
    greatings from Mexico
    I can finally go to my first GP !
    To bad i will never hear a v10-v8 :(
    But i can guaranty you it will be full to the rafters

  34. Guillermo Deutsch
    23rd July 2014, 20:43

    This is how the track will be

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