Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

Future of Mexican GP in doubt as government pulls funding

2020 F1 season

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The future of the Mexican Grand Prix is in doubt as the federal government has decided to cease funding the race after this year.

Last year’s general election in Mexico saw the previous administration suffer a heavy defeat, and the National Regeneration Movement headed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador swept into power. The Mexico City head of government Claudia Sheinbaum, a member of the victorious Juntos Haremos Historia alliance, told El Financeiro the 400 million pesos (£16 million) spent on the race each year would be allocated to the ‘Mayan Train’ railway project.

Sheinbaum added the decision will not affect this year’s race, which will take place on October 27th at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The race promoter declined to comment when approached by RaceFans.

The Mexican Grand Prix has been a popular addition to the calendar since it returned in 2015. It is one of five races on this year’s schedule which does not have a contract to appear on the 2020 F1 calendar.

The race was previously held from 1963 to 1970 and again from 1986 to 1992, and has always been held at the Mexico City track. The circuit previously held rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016 and 2017, and has played host to Formula E since 2016. The all-electric championship will return again on February 16th.

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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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39 comments on “Future of Mexican GP in doubt as government pulls funding”

  1. RedBull always did good at this track, so maybe they can chip in… “Toro Rojo” Grand Prix of Mexico doesn’t sound ridiculous at all!

    1. Yup, but they have a different engine now?
      A good thing too. Seeing Verstappen disappear in the distance after the first corner made the last 2 races interesting for about 20 seconds combined.

      Red Bull has little business in Mexico. Mexicans get their wings elsewhere, apparently. So sponsoring the race does not make sense for them.

      Heineken though has seven breweries in Mexico and has brands like Tecate and Dos Equis. Heineken obviously is already involved in F1. So they have much to win by enabling the Mexico GP, and much to lose if they don’t.

      1. disappear in the distance after the first corner

        you really must “hate” Hamilton then ;)

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      4th February 2019, 8:52

      What is truly staggering is the amount of Money Red Bull and others put into the sport, the Manufacturer support and the high ticket prices yet still venues cannot put on a race without government support!!!

      This is the bernie model and its badly broken.

      The true fans and all but the top teams are being swindled. The people at the top are creaming off all the money and the “sport” is suffering.

  2. joe pineapples
    1st February 2019, 18:44

    Never liked it as an armchair viewer anyway. I guess you had to be there to appreciate the crowd ‘spectacle/atmosphere’.

    1. This.

      I get that city venues have great atmosphere. Plus, CIE, the promoter put on an terrific show, but the sporting side was weak.

      I believe that weakness was a direct consequence of Tilke’s modifications to the race course. Don’t get me wrong, the races where already dull even in Champcar’s heyday, I think the track configuration worked with cars up until the eighties, then it got too old for the higher performance of newer cars. But as has been said before, current racetracks need spectator amenities and a bunch of other stuff that take up space. And in city venues there just isn’t space, so safety and spectators get preference. So when Tilke came, he applied his “lots of runoff or no corner” approach, and the little character that the track had left, disappeared.

      So, no, from a TV audience point of view, no, I won’t miss it.

  3. Good. I hate tax payer money used on things like this. Let F1 buy the tracks and promote the races.

    1. Most, if not all, cities chip in to lure a big ticket item like a GP.
      £16M seems like a bargain for all the free advertising and tourism it creates.
      For that money Melbourne will organise a second GP ;)

      1. @coldfly
        If you take the cost of living into account, £16M could be huge. Which is why Mexico is moving the funds away from a want rather than a need i suppose.

    2. Absolutely. How dare the local government spend money on something that brings a massive return on investment in money to the local economy, a boost to tourism, and a positive image for Mexico City and the entire country?

      Sounds like political grandstanding to me.

  4. Would be great to see Turkey return.

    1. Now that is a great track!! @serg33

    2. @serg33 Yes, I agree, but unfortunately, very unlikely to happen anytime soon. Definitely not in the foreseeable future at least.

  5. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    1st February 2019, 19:04

    So much for Verstappen’s chances at race wins

  6. Not really a fan of this track…….although it does produce odd results…..

    I have always found it frustrating to watch……the stadium section being the most annoying section…..seems to kill the rhythm/flow.

  7. I like the Mexican GP as it gives team a totally different challenge with it’s altitude.

    Ideally the calendar is a mix of as much different type of circuits as possible. Street circuits, old school ciruits, slow circuits, fast circuits, heat, cold, night, altitude, etc

    I hope it stays

    1. @anunaki
      Yes, even if the racing isn’t great, its a completely different beast compared to most tracks and the altitude is like nowhere else on the calendar (even Interlagos isn’t as dramatic).
      Also I remember Grosjean complaining saying we didn’t need this race, so I have an extra reason for wanting it to stay!

  8. Time for Racefans.net to start expressing currency in US Dollar or Euro? With the claimed majority being foreign readers and all that.. Makes no sense to me to use Pound Sterling.

    1. Because it is a UK based website.

      1. You might want to read again the reasons to move to a .net domain.

    2. Makes no sense to me to use $$ or Euros… but I don’t childishly whine when it happens… ;-)

    3. If the majority of readers are outside of the US then dollars is no better than Sterling. If the majority of readers are outside of the EU then euros make no more sense than sterling. Also those in the US or EU should be able to roughly work out the US Dollar or Euro values pretty quickly just as we in the UK can quickly work out a rough sterling amount from Euros or US Dollars…

  9. Mexico isn’t a good track for F1. 80% of the race they are cruising around to save the pirelly’s.

    1. @pietkoster That’s got more to do with the difficulty of following, though.

    2. @pietkoster

      Mexico isn’t a good track for F1. 80% of the race they are cruising around to save the Pirellis.

      If that’s the criteria by which circuits are to be judged, we’re going to have to get rid of most of them.

      1. @keithcollantine: Ok, what about getting rid of just the races paid for by authoritarian regimes that F1 toodles around?

      2. Keith, that is the challenge, to get more out of F1 you don’t have to change rules or cars all the time. The layout of the circuits is defined by criteria made decades ago. The most changes at the circuits were made because of safety regulations. At a certain moment cars and circuits are adjusted to each other and there is no challege or improvement left. So for me it is not the tenth of a second better at speed, it is about the ability to outbrake, overtake and battle on the track and not only for the mid-field but the top teams as well. This is were Mexico come short.

  10. I hope the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez would remain in F1 beyond next season as well. Losing it after only five seasons would be a shame especially considering the unique features of the venue such as the altitude, but also the overall atmosphere.

  11. I’ll miss the challenge provided by the thin air and the noise of the stadium. But I don’t have any great love for the track, so it won’t bother me if it departs.

  12. i’d be more bothered by this if they had not ruined the track with the Tilke changes.

    the modern layout lacks everything that made the original so great, rather than the fast/flowing corners it’s now just a series of uninteresting corners that are fairly slow & unchallenging. the esses used to be an amazing section of corners, each one slightly faster than the last while now there’s nothing interesting or unique about them at all.

    I wish F1 had never gone back there so that we did not have to see such a wonderful circuit butched for the sake of F1!

    1. This.

      I’ve driven the old circuit on RFactor and the esses were just brilliant. Now the entire circuit is just bilge.

  13. Vettel will be pleased. Was always a bit of a bogey track for him.

  14. Abysmal stadium section, characterless circuit. Can’t generate much beyond apathy at the prospect of losing it from the F1 calendar.

  15. Carlos Slim could fund this from petty cash.

    1. Why would he? The contract belongs to publicly-held company, CIE.

      They get great returns from the investment, and as @keithcollantine said on Twitter, if the event is so successful, maybe they don’t need government subsidies.

      It’s really ignorant to believe that Slim is the only viable investor in Mexico, look mate, he’s got a bunch of cousins and they too have money.

  16. 4 or 5 trailer loads of Mexican hydro sent up north would be more than enough to keep this GP going.

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