AUGUST 11, 2008
Down Mexico way
Talk of F1 races in Mexico is intermittent and in recent years has never seemed to be very serious. There is, nonetheless, a long history of F1 in the country and good reasons for F1 to want to be there, to help expand interest in the sport in the US timezone and attract the attention of the vast Mexican population. Formula 1 first went to Mexico in 1962 for a non-championship race and the following year joined the title race and remained on the calendar until 1970. The following year local hero Perdro Rodriguez was killed and the organisers decided to cancel the event.
For nearly 10 years Mexico dropped from the international motor racing scene but in 1980 the new CART series, looking for race tracks, decided to race in Mexico City and for two years the circuit hosted CART races both of which were won by Rick Mears for Penske. After that the Mexicans invested heavily and the track was completely rebuilt and Formula 1 returned in 1986 with Gerhard Berger scoring a famous win for Benetton-BMW by using clever strategy against the bigger teams. Between 1986 and 1992 the track was on the F1 calendar although it was never very popular. There was then another 10 year gap before the track was rebuilt again and in 2002 CART began to visit again. In that era there was an attempt by the local authorities in Cancun to build a track on the Yucatan Peninsular, to bring the area to international attention to a greater extent and attract more people as the tourist industry had suffered from the decline of air travel that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Those plans were put on hold after a devastating hurricane in the area.
The latest idea seems little more than that at the moment but if the money is right and a suitable venue can be found, F1 in Mexico is always a possibility.