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Todt targets Mexico as Bernie talks calendar expansion
8 August 2011
It is only a matter of days since the Turkish Grand Prix was left off a revised 2012 F1 schedule, but Bernie Ecclestone is already talking about possibly expanding the calendar beyond an agreed 20 races - and FIA president Jean Todt thinks he has an ideal candidate to join the list of hopeful venues.
The Frenchman was in Mexico at the weekend, and believes that the former F1 host could provide an alternative to the likes of France and South Africa, both of which have been mentioned among potential future additions to the calendar. However, with Korea having joined the throng in 2010, India set to do so this year, the USGP confirmed for 2012 and Russia likewise in 2014, there is already stiff competition for places on the F1 schedule - pressure which has seen the impressive Istanbul Park circuit apparently bite the dust after just six seasons.
Despite that, Todt is happy to view Mexico and the former F1 venue at the Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez as a candidate for future calendars.
"As part of the meetings I am doing, I intend to see the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit," he told
of a planned visit to the facility which last staged an F1 race in 1992, "Today Mexico is an economically strong country and I am convinced that in the future [an F1 return] is possible. However, we know that the races have a cost, [and] there are also a number of criteria for the approval of an event, especially in terms of safety."
With the clamour to join the F1 calendar showing no sign of abating, meanwhile, Ecclestone has hinted that he may be prepared to extend the schedule beyond the currently agreed 20 races. The addition of the USGP in 2012, allied to the desire to accommodate Bahrain should it be able to sort out its political and social problems, led to the demise of Turkey, and there are other races - notably Valencia's European GP and the annual visit to Germany - which are thought to be in danger of the axe and could create access points for newcomers.
“We could have 21,” Ecclestone admitted to Britain's
newspaper, pointing out that the teams may be forced to accede in order to keep favoured events, “If we say we have got to get rid of Monaco, they would say we would rather not.”
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