Sergio Perez reckons Formula 1 will be blown away by the reception it gets in his homeland if the planned Mexican Grand Prix gets the green light for 2014.
The Mexico City event is on the draft calendar circulated to teams at Monza, but its place is subject to the circuit being ready and a suitable contract finalized. Perez believes Mexico will greet the return of F1 with huge enthusiasm.
“Formula 1 will be amazed by how popular this grand prix can become within a single race,” he said. “People in Mexico are really enthusiastic about it and it will be fantastic news for my home country.
“I’ve been involved and I know that they’re making good progress and everyone is trying so hard – fans, media and sponsors. People are always talking about bad Mexico is, so I think it’s a real opportunity for us to show the world how good we are as a country. We had a great example in Austin with how many Mexicans were there. I think it will be huge for Formula 1 as a sport.”
The Mexico City track previously hosted F1 from 1963-’70 and ’86-’92. Perez thinks bringing it up to modern standards will be relatively straightforward.
“I’ve never raced there, I’ve only done some testing there,” he said. “But I’ve been there often, so I know how good the racetrack is. They need to rebuild it, but there is enough time.
“[It will need] a couple of months’ flat-out work. I think that’s why it’s so important for our country to start working on it and get the final contract.
“I think they have to change the pits to make them proper for Formula 1, a few corners maybe, and apart from that I don’t think they have to do big things to be ready. Indy cars [Champ Car] raced there some time ago, so I think the run-off is big enough. Of course they have room to improve it, and I think the standard will raise for Formula 1.”