Mexican track intact, F1 race to go ahead
22 Sep 2017 - 0:07
London: Mexican Grand Prix organisers say next month’s Formula One race in Mexico City will go ahead as planned despite the capital being hit by its deadliest earthquake in three decades.
Marketing head Rodrigo Sanchez told reporters that the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in the southeast of the city was not damaged.
“It’s been inspected twice already from the track surface and also the buildings, and it’s OK,” said Sanchez, who was in Mexico City when the 7.1 magnitude quake struck on Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ll continue doing the assessments as we go but so far there’s really no concern (about the facilities). We’ll have a race.”
The Grand Prix, the 18th round of the 20 race season, is scheduled for October 29 on the weekend before Mexico’s annual ‘Dia de Muertos’ (Day of the dead) holidays.
Some 135,000 spectators attended on race day last year, second only to British circuit Silverstone’s 139,000, with about 30 percent of them foreigners.
The race is backed by the government, which pays the hosting fees to Formula One and sees it as an important driver for tourism and Mexico’s image abroad.
Sanchez said the immediate focus was on helping relief efforts and mobilising international support.
“We’re trying to put out there all the information relevant to how people can help. Right now the concern is really getting everything back to moving from the city perspective and supporting any way we can,” he said.
“If things stay the same, we’ll just keep working on what we’re doing. The track is fine so we just need to re-focus and get this show done.”
Mexico’s only current Formula One driver, Force India’s Sergio Perez, has said he is donating 3m pesos ($168,000) towards the relief effort.