Formula 1

Mexico set for F1 Grand Prix return in 2015

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Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez set for a home race in 2015 (©GettyImages)
Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez set for a home race in 2015 (©GettyImages).

Formula 1 will return to Mexico for the first time in 23 years in 2015 according to CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

The Central American nation has had increasing exposure in F1 in recent years thanks to Mexican backed drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez and with the sport once again growing in popularity a return to the country makes absolute sense.

Revival of a classic

The Mexican Grand Prix was last held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 1992 and speculation about a return was strong last year, however, an inability to upgrade the facilities at the New Mexico track in time for a race in 2014.

Therefore the news, set to be confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday, is not a huge surprise.

The leaking of the deal being signed came as the likely race promoter, New Mexico-based events company CIE, announced a five year deal had been signed while filing with the country's stock exchange.

Later Bernie Ecclestone would confirm as well telling Forbes magazine: "We have got Mexico past the post."

Tex & Mex

The announcement of the deal sets an interesting situation afoot because the likely space on the calendar for Mexico, will be as part of a double-header with the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

With the race at the Circuit of the Americas being so close to the Mexican border, however, a good percentage of the crowd at the Texan race has been coming across to enjoy the race.

Now though with their own race, albeit quite far south into Mexico, will those fans that go to Austin simply spend their Pesos and head to New Mexico?

It will be an interesting test to see just how well Formula 1 is truly performing when attracting the USA market when it comes to matching the attendance figures of the first few years likely without the guarantee of a good Mexican contingent.

Expanding calendar

The return of Mexico comes at a time when the current agreed limit of races in one season, 20, looks at ever greater threat of being breached.

With Mexico, that would take an undisturbed calendar from this year up to the 20 mark, but with the Indian race looking to return as well as Azerbaijan almost certainly pencilled in for 2016 a decision will need to be made.

Currently there are question marks over the future of Australia, Malaysia and to an extent Germany as negotiations over Nurburgring becoming the permanent host circuit continue, therefore bosses must decide if F1 can exceed 20 races or if some of the current races need to be dropped..

This also comes at a time when costs are being considered and attempts to bring them down being made, so as a result an even bigger calendar going to more faraway places may not be the wisest of options for F1.

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Formula 1
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