There were a number of important meetings during the United States GP weekend in Austin about the possibility of a Grand Prix in Mexico. From what I hear, a five-year deal was agreed between the Formula One group and Carlos Slim Jr – the son of the world’s richest man – who will guarantee the deal. Some of Slim’s company will help pay for the race but a big chunk of money will also come from the Mexican government, which explains the presence of Mexico’s outgoing President Felipe Calderón in Austin. He has another 10 days left on his mandate and wants to sort something out before he leaves office. His successor Enrique Pena Nieto has also agreed to support an event, which is logical given that there are going to be two F1 drivers from Mexico next season.
The initial suggestion was that the race could take place at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City in June, to replace the postponed New Jersey race, but the various consortia bidding for the work all apparently agree that it is impossible to do all that is needed in the six months available, even if there is endless money. The problem is that the track not only needs to be resurfaced but also much of the track needs its drainage and foundations redone. The pit and paddock area will also need to be done from scratch. This cannot be achieved in time for 2013.
There is an argument that rather than botching in order to get a race for 2014, it might be wiser to invest and create a purpose-built facility in the Cancun area, but this is unlikely to be done before 2016, which is too late.
The old track will be a compromise solution because things have changed a lot since F1 left in 1992. The great Peraltada corner is unlikely to be revived because after F1 left a big new stadium was built inside the corner. This means that the track cannot be reprofiled to create runoff areas, and there is not an option on the outside of the corner because there is a main road which gets in the way.