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Ecclestone confirms Mexican GP in 2015

NEWS STORY
23/07/2014

Bernie Ecclestone has agreed a deal with Latin American entertainment giant Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE) that will see F1 return to Mexico in 2015.

Welcoming F1 back to Mexico after a break of twenty-three years, CIE President Alejandro Soberon made the announcement at a press conference in Mexico City. "Start your engines, F1 will return to Mexico next year," he declared. "This is Mexico's time."

Though he didn't attend the press conference, Ecclestone sent a congratulatory message: "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."

As previously reported, one of the driving forces behind Mexico's return to the calendar is Tavo Hellmund, a friend of Ecclestone for many years and the man behind the Circuit of the Americas and indeed F1's return to the United States.

"Ever since Bernie and I began working on a race at Austin, it's been a dream of mine to help Formula One return to Mexico," Hellmund told the official F1 website. "This announcement has therefore been years in the making, but we've gradually been able to assemble all the right pieces. I'm absolutely delighted."

Numerous changes will need to be carried out to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City which last hosted a Grand Prix in 1992. Other than total a resurfacing in order to smooth out the track's notorious bumps, due to its location on a geologically active region, it is understood Hermann Tilke (groan) will re-profile the layout including the legendary Peraltada, the long sweeping final corner somewhat reminiscent of the Parabolica at Monza.

CIE's Chief Financial Officer Jaime Zevada subsequently told Reuters that his company will invest $50m to complete the upgrades, which will include expanding seating capacity to 120,000 - ironic considering the past problems officials had in keeping spectators off the track during races.

Zevada said the company could expect to see a profit of about $10m to $15 million on its investment over the course of the five-year deal, while a tweet from the office of Mexico's president, Enrique Pena Nieto, forecast that the race will have an "economic benefit of $2m which in turn will generate more than 18 thousand direct and indirect jobs".

Chris Balfe

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