home icon / F1 News, Reports and Results / Mexico promoters resist moving race to June

Mexico promoters resist moving race to June

Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City
© XPB 

The promoters of Mexico's Grand Prix have said that proposals to move the race to June are a non-starter.

The two events in Austin and Mexico City have been scheduled on back-to-back weekends for the last three years. However, the organisers of the race in the United States now want that changed.

They fear that the close geographical proximity and timing of the two Grand Prix races is affecting the success of the event north of the border.

"It would certainly be better for the promoter if the races were further apart on the calendar," Austin promoter Bobby Epstein told Reuters earlier this month. "Mexico with Canada. We'd be with Brazil."

But Alejandro Soberon, his counterpart in Mexico, said that simply wasn't possible. He said that if anything the US race should switch instead.

"Bobby is a fantastic guy and I love him," he said. "I think he has a good idea to separate the races. But I think Bobby should move back to June.

"It would make more sense to have Canada and the United States together," he continued. "They are closer. They can do it in June and they can even make a package together to sell tickets for both races."

The biggest problem as far as Soberon is concerned is the weather. A June date would mean the race taking part in one of the wettest part of the year.

"It is impossible to move to June because it is rainy season," he said. "Overall you cannot have a good experience if the weekend is so rainy.

"I have a lot of sympathy for [Buddy], but we cannot move to June."

The current timing of the race also means that it has become a major part of Mexico's famous Day of the Dead celebrations. The most recent race was a sell-out, with huge support from local fans for Sergio Perez.

"It has become a big festival in the city," said Soberon. "We are happy with the date we have."

Last week's race was the third in a five-year contract. Soberon said that he expected contract negotiations for an extension to begin soon.

"This is our third race and we should be having the following year to start extension talks," he said. "The race has brought tremendous profile for the country, and a good economical impact."

Even so,, much will depend on whether the country's government will continue to support the event.

"We have an election in Mexico," Soberon said, looking forward to next July's vote. "There is going to be a new government. "We need to sit down and have a conversation with them and F1 about the possibility to extend [the contract]."

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is also been eyed up as a new venue for the US IndyCar Series championship.

The event would replace the spot on the racing calendar vacated by the FIA WEC on the first weekend of August. Although not officially confirmed, recent reports have stated that the deal is "99 percent done".

However it's believed that a major condition of the deal is that there is at least one driver from Mexico will be on the grid for the race.

That could be a boost for former Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez. He made seven starts in IndyCar in 2017 subbing for an injured Sebastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing.

However no deal had yet been announced for Gutierrez in 2018. The 26-year-old was the 2010 GP3 Series champion and GP2 runner-up in 2012; he had two seasons with Sauber in 2013-4 and was a Ferrari test driver in 2015.

Gutierrez had a full-time drive at Haas last year, but was replaced at the end of the season by Kevin Magnussen.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter