Bernie Ecclestone confirms Mexican GP for 2015

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Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that Formula 1 will be heading back to Mexico next year after a 23-year absence.

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City will play host to the race, and is likely to take place towards the end of the season.

Ecclestone has been pushing to take the sport back to Mexico for some time, with a race originally planned to take place this year before it was cut along with New Jersey. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, he made his excitement about the event clear.

“I’m happy to announce we’ve concluded an agreement to have a race in 2015,” Ecclestone said. “Don’t miss this race!

“I feel it is the right for F1 and for Mexico and I’m sure it will be to the benefit of both for many years. I look forward to welcoming you all to this global event next year.”

Mexico has recently enjoyed a revival in Formula 1, with drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez currently representing the nation on the grid. Following the return of the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, there have been a number of Mexican fans making their way to the Circuit of the Americas for the race.

Former Austin promoter Tavo Hellmund is also involved in the project, and was delighted that negotiations had come to a positive conclusion.

“Ever since Bernie and I began working on a race at Austin, it’s been a dream of mine to help Formula 1 return to Mexico,” he said.

“This announcement has therefore been years in the making, but we’ve gradually been able to assemble all the right pieces. I’m absolutely delighted.”

Although more development work is needed at the circuit, it all looks to be going ahead as planned next year. As F1’s global expansion continues, it is nice to see a classic circuit with a hardcore fanbase return to the fray.

That said, it is unclear whether the proposed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey will be taking place next year, with the last news coming in March when Ecclestone said that it was still viable.

F1: Max Verstappen provides late-lap thrills at U.S. Grand Prix

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Leave it to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to provide some late-race thrills at the U.S. Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s key block on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton late in Sunday’s race denied Hamilton a chance to maybe chase down Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to win. And it helped deny Hamilton’s bid for the season championship.

Verstappen’s defensive skills allowed the Red Bull driver to finish second, his best result yet at the U.S Grand Prix, his fourth podium in six races. By keeping Hamilton third, it kept the season championship alive, even if just another week to the Mexican Grand Prix.

Last season, Verstappen had surged past Raikkonen on a final-lap pass to finish third. It was the kind of aggressive move that earned him the “Mad Max” nickname. Before he could even reach the podium, race officials declared Verstappen’s move illegal and bumped an angry Verstappen down to fifth.

The Circuit of the Americas this week installed a new curb on the same corner, dubbed “Verstoppen,” to punish drivers who tried anything similar this year. It worked when Verstappen hit it hard enough in qualifying to knock his car out of the session with a damaged suspension and gear box. He started Sunday’s race 18th.

The Dutch driver launched a furious attack through the field and found himself in the thick of things late Sunday. His move to block Hamilton wasn’t on the same corner with the curbs, and it came with him playing defense instead of being the aggressor.

Verstappen had to make multiple moves to keep Hamilton behind him and finally drove the Mercedes wide, forcing Hamilton to finally concede the position and the race.

“I was trying to get close to Kimi but at the same time keeping an eye on Lewis in my mirror. It was close, but we managed to hang on,” Verstappen said. “It is safe to say today went a lot better than expected.”

Knowing Verstappen’s aggressive nature, Hamilton said there was too much at stake to risk a collision.

“The key to me was to make sure I finished ahead of Seb. I don’t care when you win a championship, just that you win,” Hamilton said. “”For Max, to come back from so far, he did a great job.”

Verstappen has been just as aggressive at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

In 2016, race officials ruled he improperly left the track to gain an advantage on Vettel to finish third and he was bumped from the podium. Last season, Verstappen’s strong start sent him into the lead out of the first turn, while Hamilton and Vettel bumped each other. The collision ruptured one of Hamilton’s tires.

Verstappen won the race while Hamilton limped home in ninth place, but still won the season championship.