Report: Mexican Grand Prix set for 2015 return?

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For more than two decades, Mexico has been without a Formula One Grand Prix. But if a new Mexican media report is true, that will be changing starting next year.

According to Mexico City-based newspaper Reforma, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has signed a five-year deal for a Mexican Grand Prix to be staged at the city’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez starting in 2015.

Per Reforma, the new deal has the support of the local and national governments, and also features an option to stay for an additional five-year period.

Multiple upgrades to the track and its infrastructure are believed necessary in order to get the Autodromo fit for F1. The track hosted Mexico’s two previous F1 runs from 1963-1970 and again from 1986-1992.

It has also been a home for American open-wheel racing, sports car racing, and NASCAR stock car racing over the years.

Last September, FIA race director Charlie Whiting was among multiple officials that visited the Autodromo for an inspection.

Joining Whiting were a representative from the company of F1’s leading track designer Hermann Tilke, FIA vice president Jose Abed, and former Austin F1 founder Tavo Hellmund.

A Mexican round of the World Championship was listed on the 2014 provisional calendar, but when the final 2014 calendar came out in December, it was found that Mexico had not made the cut along with Korea and the proposed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey.

It is believed that a Mexican Grand Prix would be placed toward the end of the year to go alongside the USGP at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, which usually enjoys a decent following of Mexican fans that cross the border to support countrymen Sergio Perez of Force India and Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.