Sergio Perez admits the future of the Mexican Grand Prix “isn’t looking good” and that its eventual loss would deal a major blow to the country and to future generations of Mexican drivers.
The Mexican Grand Prix has established itself as one of Formula 1’s most popular races since its return to the calendar in 2015.
The event is in the process of negotiating a new contract with the sport for 2020 and beyond but Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador through a spanner in the works this week when he announced that the race would no longer receive state and government funding.
Mexico’s president pulls the plug on Grand Prix funding!
“It’s not looking good,” admitted Perez in Barcelona when questioned on the future of his home race.
“Hopefully we can get some good news later on. I think it’s very important for our country to keep it.
“It’s a great place for Formula 1. I mean the last four races have been the best, at a great venue. So hopefully we can keep it.
“There are so many countries out there that want F1 grands prix. So once you lose your place, I think it’s very difficult to get it back. It cost us so much to get, but now if we lose a place it probably be the end.
“I think we would need to wait another 30, 50 years to get it back, and I think it’s a great exposure for your country to have a grand prix. So it would really be a shame to lose the Mexican Grand Prix.”
The Racing Point driver said he was being kept informed of the situation by the event’s organisers, but he had no idea of alternative funding could be put in place to guarantee the race’s future.
“I’m in contact with the organisers, all of them,” he added.
“More as a Mexican to be honest, because as a Mexican I really want my country to be seen all around the world to show how good Mexico is. And I think F1 is what offers you that platform.
“I guess it’s hard because all the benefit is done for the government, so I don’t know if it can be done another way.”
Perez believes that losing the Mexican Grand Prix would not only be a major blow for his country, but also for future generations of young Mexican drivers.
“The Grand Prix generated a lot of interest for the young generation,” he said.
“Probably before the Mexican Grand Prix, I spent the last 15 years without racing in Mexico.
“So it will be a shame, a big shame for the new generations, for the sport and for our country.”
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