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Big money backs Mexico F1 GP's return

2014-07-24 08:57

HEAD HONCHOS: F1 will return to Mexico and behind the comeback are (clockwise from top left) Alejandro Soberon, Carlos Slim Domit - son of the world's richest man - and Tevo Hellmund. Track image: Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit

TONY GOODSON and TOMAS SARMIENTO

MEXICO CITY, Mexico - Mexico will be on the 2015 Formula 1 calendar after a 23-year absence with some rich and powerful people rooting for its success.

One of them the son of the world's richest man.

Alejandro Soberon, president of live events company CIE, confirmed on Wednesday (July 23): "Start your engines, F1 will return to Mexico in 2015."

ARRIBA MEXICO

CIE announced to the Mexican stock exchange on July 23 that it had signed a five-year contract to host F1 races but that the deal was still subject to final negotiations. It will be held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had earlier told Forbes magazine's website that the deal had been agreed. He was quoted as saying: "We have Mexico past the post."

Forbes said the plan to revive the race had the backing of a powerful management team, led by two key figures.

  • Tavo Hellmund, creator of the US GP and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
  • Alejandro Soberon, whose CIE company is the world's third-largest live entertainment business.
  • Also on the team is Carlos Slim Domit, who sits on the decision-making body of the International Automobile Federation's Senate and is the son of Carlos Slim, the world's richest man.

F1 currently has two Mexican drivers, Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber and Force India's Sergio Perez - both bankrolled by Carlos Slim, according to Forbes.

The race's return was originally planned for 2014 but the track could not be updated in time.

CIE's chief financial officer Jaime Zevada told Reuters the company would invest $50 million to complete upgrades, among them the expansion of crowd seating to 120 000, and the the event could expect to see a profit of as much as $15-million on the investment over the period of the five-year contract.

The circuit hosted GP racing from 1963-70 and 1986-92. It will be reconfigured from the layout last used when Nigel Mansell won in 1992. Changes to the ultra-fast banked right-hander at the end of the lap, Peraltada, and resurfacing to reduce its notorious bumpiness will be undertaken to comply with federation regulations.

No date has been fixed for the race.
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Read more on:    bernie eccelstone  |  mexico  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1

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