“All the pieces are coming together” for Mexican Grand Prix

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Mexican FIA Senate member Carlos Slim Helu believes “all of the pieces are coming together” for Mexico to hold a round of the world championship as early as next year.

Tavo Hellmund, who was behind the plan to build the Circuit of the Americas, is involved in the plan to bring F1 back to Mexico. The last Mexican Grand Prix took place in 1992 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

“I believe it is the right choice to have more races in the Americas,” Slim told the FIA’s Auto magazine. “Races in Europe are difficult to see in America because they are either at three o’clock in the morning or seven o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. But the timing of races in America is perfect for Europe.”

“I believe there is potential to do more races in the Americas and I believe that Mexico is the right spot to do it. It’s a stable country by and large, our economy is doing quite well and we have drivers people can identify with them.

“All of the pieces are coming together and I believe the potential promoters are doing a good job in trying to secure something.”

Slim’s father Carlos Slim Helu is reputed to be the richest man in the world. His Telmex telecommunications company supports the Escuderia Telmex which helped Sergio Perez (pictured) and Esteban Gutierrez reach Formula One.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.