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The Central American country has a contract with Formula 1 regarding five races in 2019, but its president declared that, if government investment is required, they will be canceled
Since 2014, Mexico City has hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Mexico, but its contract ends this 2019 season and it seems that there will be no more Mexican Grand Prix at the moment. In an interview granted by Racing Point's Mexican driver, Sergio "Checo" Pérez, to the Autosport magazine, he expressed his concern about losing his native country's place in the calendar, since, in his opinion, recovering it will take between 30 and 50 years.
Leer en español: México: un GP en 'el ojo del huracán'
Among the statements that the pilot gave to the same magazine, he also expressed that "It's a great place for Formula 1. The last four races have been the best, it's a great place, so I hope we can keep it," as he took the title of "Best promoter of the event" in F1 in the last four years. He also indicated that "there are so many countries out there that want big F1 prizes, so once you lose your place, I think it's very difficult to get it back." One of the countries that yearns for that place is Argentina.
Mexico's story in F1
The first stage took place between 1964 and 1970, at the track located in Magdalena Mixhuca, according to a publication on the Mediotiempo portal. It ended in 1970, the road course had been crowded with attendees and they got out of hand by not being able to control it: some fans entered the track and, according to how it is reviewed in the publication, even a dog peed in Jackie Stewart's car (Matra International), the reason why it was damaged and it was called on to him to leave the race. Due to this, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) removed the concession of Mexico's GP.
The second stage was 16 years after its first start. In 1986 Mexico's GP returned, after tough negotiations, increased security after what happened and remodeling facilities, according to the Mediotiempo report. Its continuity was until 1992, because at that time the F1 had the support of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, since he was a motor racing fan. However, the decline in popularity, the lack of sponsors, the belief that an F1 car contaminated like a factory and the lack of Mexican drivers generated Mexico's second exit from F1.
According to the newspaper La Jornada de México, the country rejoined the Formula 1 calendar in 2015 for four years, after 23 years of being out of it. However, the current Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has expressed that the funds that were previously destined for such an event, were taken from the Tourism Promotion Fund, according to El Economista. These funds for next year are already committed for the construction of the Mayan Train, that will connect the old area of Palenque with the east coast of Cancun. Then, if private funding is not obtained, it will be goodbye for the Grand Prix of Mexico.
Also read: Tatiana Calderón: on her way to Formula 1
Possibility for Argentina?
If Mexico leaves the F1 calendar, Argentina could be the country that obtains this date to play the GP of Buenos Aires. According to a report published by Infobae, the owner of Formula 1, Liberty Media, does not have in mind to take one of its headquarters in America, so they would be looking to form an "American rider" from Canada to Argentina.
O GP da Argentina pode retornar ao calendário da Fórmula 1 na próxima temporada. Com a última edição em 1998, o país sul-americano pode herdar a vaga do México, que deve fazer a última participação no calendário do automobilismo em 2019. pic.twitter.com/23VzjBVvVc— MAIVAN TUR (@wwwmaivanturcom) 26 de febrero de 2019
In addition to this, the current president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, has shown his willingness to take F1 to his country. Even so, according to the 24 Hours News portal, due to the economic problems that country is facing, public investment would be at stake, since it takes about 300 million dollars to host the motoring show.
LatinAmerican Post | Daniela Escalante
Translated from "México: un GP en 'el ojo del huracán'"