Velociudad Argentina

Argentina and Mexico examine F1 track possibilities

F1 calendarPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Velociudad Argentina
Velociudad Argentina

Two countries formerly part of the Formula 1 calendar are evaluating plans which could see both become capable of holding F1 races again.

Argentina and Mexico last held F1 races in 1998 and 1992 respectively, and hosted 35 rounds of the world championship between them.

Argentina

Populous, the architects behind Silverstone’s revised track and new pits, have won a bid to develop an FIA Grade 1 circuit in Argentina, which would be capable of holding F1 and Moto GP races.

The Velociudad Argentina circuit will be built in Zarate, close to the capital city Buenos Aires:

Velociudad Argentina
Velociudad Argentina

A 5.5km track is planned. The image shown above is a concept layout and will not reflect the final design. Design and construction is expected to take two years.

The developers say they are keen to attract an F1 race but the main purpose of the track is to help develop Argentinian racing drivers and teams.

Velociudad Argentina
Velociudad Argentina

They say they will not make an approach about hosting an F1 race until the project is at a more advanced stage.

They plan to host local racing categories including TC2000. The circuit will be within a short drive of five car manufacturing factories belonging to Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Ford and GM.

This concept footage shows more of the planned development:

Mexico

Riccardo Patrese, Nigel Mansell, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 1991
Riccardo Patrese, Nigel Mansell, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 1991

The presence of Sergio Perez, Mexico’s first F1 driver in 30 years, could do much to attract backers and help the country regain a spot on the F1 schedule.

FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting recently visited and inspected the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City with a view to the circuit being prepared for FIA Grade 1 status.

The circuit’s owners were given details of the changes they would have to make in order for it to be able to host an F1 race.

It’s not known what changes they would have to make. But the final corner, Peraltada, a high-speed 180-degree right-hander with limited run-off, is a likely source of difficulty.

Bruno Junquiera, A1 Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2007
Bruno Junquiera, A1 Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2007

Single-seater categories which have visited the venue in recent years, such as the defunct A1 Grand Prix (see image) and Champ Car series, have used different configurations at this point on the track.

At one stage the course was diverted through a baseball field in the middle of the corner. Later, Champ Car used a very tight chicane before the corner. Both configurations can be distinguished by zooming in on the map below.

In 2009 the circuit owners planned to use a trio of chicanes to slow the A1GP cars at the corner, but that event was cancelled.

Here is how the track looks at present:

Argentina and Mexico’s F1 history

Images ?? Velociudad Argentina (1-3), Williams/LAT, A1 Grand Prix