Mexico eyes return of Formula One racing

Mexico City: A Mexican entertainment company hopes to bring back the globally popular Formula One motor races to Mexico after a two-decade hiatus due to the high price of hosting the international events.

"It`s being studied," Carlos Slim Domit, the son of the world`s richest man Carlos Slim, told reporters.

Slim Domit, a die-hard racing fan who also sponsors Mexico`s auto association, is a member of Formula One`s regulating body, the Federation Internationale de l`Automobile (FIA), which is working with Mexican company CIE to promote the return of the races.

He said the Hermanos Rodriguez track, in the eastern part of Mexico City, could be one of the locations for Formula One races in the future.

The track is operated by CIE and has hosted NASCAR races.

It is mostly used for huge concerts or baseball games and a big investment would be needed to upgrade it to Formula One standards.

Mexico hosted 15 Formula One races between the 1960s and the early 1990s at the Hermanos Rodriguez track but had to discontinue the competitions in part because of their high price tag.

Slim Domit, head of the board of Telmex, Mexico`s biggest fixed-line and Internet company owned by his father, said another option could be a street circuit in the city of Guadalajara, in western Mexico.

The Slim family is heavily invested in a car racing team under the Telmex brand, which competes mainly in Mexico.

One of the team`s drivers, Sergio Perez, recently signed with Formula One.

Formula One races are among the most widely watched in the world, generating millions of dollars in advertising and sponsorship deals.

In Latin America, Brazil is currently the only host.

Last week, FIA President Jean Todt also hinted that Formula One could return to Mexico but did not provide any details.

CIE operates the Mexico City horse racing track as well as electronic bingos and sport betting books in casino-like halls, and has long coveted the dream of bringing the international event to Mexican soil. The company had no immediate comment.

A plan to build a Formula One-ready track in the popular Caribbean beach resort of Cancun bombed about a decade ago.

In April, a source told Reuters that Rupert Murdoch`s News Corp was in early talks with Carlos Slim about forming a consortium to acquire control of Formula One.

Bureau Report

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