Mexican F1 prefers pairing with Texas race

LONDON • Mexican Grand Prix organisers would rather have their Formula One race coupled with neighbouring Texas than be back-to-back with Brazil.

"I think honestly, personally, it is a better idea to have it back-to-back with Texas," promoter Alejandro Soberon said on Monday, following up on Mexico's successful return to Formula One after a 23-year absence.

"It creates an opportunity for European and Asian fans to come to this part of the world and, in the space of 10 days, see two races."

Added the chief executive of Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento: "My opinion is that it's best back-to-back with Austin than to Brazil."

Some 135,000 spectators turned up on race day, Nov 1, at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit to witness Mexico's first grand prix since 1992.

The previous weekend, a rain-hit one in Texas, Britain's Lewis Hamilton had won his third world championship with Mercedes.

Next year's provisional calendar has Mexico pencilled in for a Nov 6 date, on the weekend before the Brazilian GP in Sao Paulo.

The US round is scheduled as a stand-alone race on Oct 23.

Soberon said this year's slot, coinciding with Mexico's Day of the Dead national holiday, was perfect for both locals and visitors.

"We need to have a conversation to see how the final calendar ends for next year because that weekend is really good for Mexican fans, it's great to have it in the holiday," he said.

He suggested there could also be closer ties with Austin's Circuit of the Americas (Cota) to create a package that would encourage fans to visit both.

"I think we should work well together, we should look for ways of collaboration," he said.

"I think Austin is a wonderful race and there's perfectly a space for the two races to be nearby."

Cota chairman Bobby Epstein said last month that his circuit had suffered a "financially devastating weekend" this year due to bad weather that washed out Saturday and lost sales from concessions.

"The Mexico race hurt us," he told the Austin Statesman, adding that the announced Sunday attendance of 101,667 would have been greater without Mexico's return.

Soberon said the organisers were delighted with their sell-out event, and the positive response from the Formula One paddock, and promised a "bigger and better" grand prix for next year.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2015, with the headline 'Mexican F1 prefers pairing with Texas race'. Print Edition | Subscribe