Another day, and another Carlos Slim statement regarding how close he is to securing a deal which will bring Formula 1 back to Mexico. The magnate who owns Telmex, and is one of the richest people in the world, has long been pestering Bernie Ecclestone to put Mexico back on the calendar, but it appears his pestering is now coming to fruition.
According to Slim’s son, Carlos Slim Domit, “all of the pieces are coming together” for Formula One’s return, more than likely to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, where Formula One ran until 1992.
But, many things have changed for the country since then. Drugs have destroyed the country’s stability, while a rampantly disorganized police force can only hope to contain the ever-growing problem. Mexico finds itself in a situation similar to what Brazil is encountering now, where government spending and a large disparity of wealth are creating a discontent populous.
Although Mexico City is rather stable, it would be a wary decision to bring the influx of wealth and prestige associated with Formula One to a country with such rampant instability. Despite being able to use his wealth to sponsor both Mexican drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Sergio Perez, Slim should not be able to bring a new Grand Prix in so soon, especially when venues in more stable countries are available.
Bernie Ecclestone needs to assert himself as someone unable to be bought. After a long history of just that, and now being accused of bribery, he cannot let Carlos Slim use his rampant wealth to command a race, as he has with done with Gutierrez to Formula One, and Perez in his junior stages.
The circuit itself also needs work done, and although Slim would more than likely foot the bill as a private investor, Formula One would be putting itself in a precarious situation. In short, this is a problem that both the sanctioning body and Mexico’s government need to avoid.
As a Mexican and Formula 1 fan, it does pain me to say it. The track is good, although he facility needs improvement, but the situation and time is not right.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486