Mexico to join F1 calendar

Mexico is set to win a return to the Formula 1 schedule in 2006 following the successful conclusion of talks with sport supremo Bernie Ecclestone for an event in Cancun. Official confirmation of the news, which was exclusively predicted by Autosport last year, is expected on Monday

Mexico to join F1 calendar

Talks between Mexican representatives and Ecclestone have taken place for more than 12 months but it now appears that agreement has been reached for the event to be handed an official slot on the calendar - a factor that will likely put further pressure on the British Grand Prix to justify its position.

The momentum for the event came from Joaquin Hendricks, the governor of the state of Quintana Roo, who claims that work on the new £55 million race track near the city of Cancun will begin shortly.

"There is now a signed commitment, but details remain to be worked out," said Hendricks at a news conference in Cancun. The deal is expected to be for five years.

State tourism minister Artemio Santos said: "This is very good news for Mexico and the state of Quintana Roo. F1 will promote both."

Mexico has not hosted a grand prix since 1992, when the event was held in Mexico City. The track has recently held Champ Car events.

The return of Mexico is another boost for F1 because it will provide a fourth event on the calendar that takes place in the American time zone - meaning an ultra popular evening slot for European audiences. It is possible that Mexico could be twinned as a back-to-back event with Brazil at the end of the season.

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