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.
Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.
Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.
On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.
One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.
After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.
The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.
Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.
“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”
Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.
“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”
But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.
“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.
“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”
Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.
“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.
“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”
The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.