- Mexican Grand Prix
Mexico GP confirmed for 2015 season
The Mexican Grand Prix will return to F1 after a 23-year absence after organisers agreed a five-year deal starting in the 2015 season.
The race has been mooted for a return to F1 for a while and was even included on the provisional calendar for 2014, only to fail to make the final cut. The race- which will be run at the 4.421-kilometre Mexico City circuit - is being backed by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Domit, the richest man in the world, and Tavo Hellmund, the creator and mastermind of the F1 USGP and Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
"It is a fact," organising president Alejandro Soberon told a press conference at the Banamex Centre in Mexico City. "Start your engines, F1 will return to Mexico next year. This is Mexico's time."
Bernie Ecclestone was not present at the announcement but did send a message echoing the comments of Soberon and welcoming Mexico back into the F1 fold. "I am pleased to confirm that Formula One will be back in Mexico City in 2015," he said. "I feel it is the right for F1 for and Mexico and I'm sure it will be to the benefit of both for many years. I look forward to welcoming you all to this global event next year."
The Williams of Nigel Mansell won the 1992 race on his way to the drivers' championship, but the sport has not returned since. A gap in the calendar, as well as taking logistics into account, means it is likely the race will run back-to-back with the United States Grand Prix held in Austin, although a concrete date is yet to be decided.
It was confirmed that alterations and improvements will be made to the track, with spectator stands and pit garages also undergoing renovations to comply with FIA regulations. A grand prix around the streets of Azerbaijan capital Baku is also expected to be included from next year, which promises to present a packed season for the teams and drivers - with other races now likely to be unsure of their own respective futures on the calendar.
Two drivers who will be hoping to be part of the long-awaited return will be the Mexican pair of Sergio Perez of Force India and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez who would no doubt help draw a huge crowd, with organisers hoping for 180,000 spectators to attend over the three-day events.