SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team driver Sergio Pérez fears this years edition of the Mexican Grand Prix could be its last within the sport for some time.
Recently, the Mexican government decided to halt its funding for the race at the Autodromo Hermaons Rodriguez. The lack of funding means the Grand Prix could be dropped from the 2020 calendar, having missed the initial deadline onto agreeing a new deal to host the race for the foreseeable future.
The Mexican Grand Prix made its return to F1 in 2015, having been off the calendar since 1992 and has been held at the same circuit in Mexico City since the first race took place in 1962.
Pérez has competed in every Mexican Grand Prix since its return in 2015 and said that if the race were to be dropped from the calendar, it would be a very emotional race in front of a ‘great’ home crowd.
“It’s always great especially with the Mexican fans, they’ve been so great in the last couple of years,” said Pérez
“This could well be our last race so I really hope we have a fantastic final venue, if that’s the case. I really hope its not the case, we can have many more races. But if that were to be the case, it would be a very emotional Grand Prix.”
Racing Point will field Pérez and new team-mate Lance Stroll ahead of their first full year in F1 since taking over Force India midway through the 2018 season.
Their testing ahead of the 2019 season has been limited due to lack of spare parts, which has prevented the team to explore more of the RP19 ahead of the first race in Melbourne.
Pérez says that the team is expecting a different car for the first race of the year compare to what they’ve had over the course of winter testing.
“Depends on who you compare with,” commented Pérez. “I think so far in my whole winter testing I’ve done about 130 laps or 140 laps, so it is not a lot.
“We are just a short of mileage. We know coming here that that was going to be the case. We expect quite a different car in Melbourne so, as more of the understanding we can get in this car, the better.”
Despite the lack of laps the Mexican driver would of liked over pre-season, Pérez knew the lack of mileage would happen and the contention within the midfield will be tight heading into the first race of the season.
“Obviously its important that the preparation that you can get here you know. But we are aware that the most important is where you are in Melbourne, that means we can have a big package for Melbourne, it would be great.
“We know coming here that we were always going to be limited in mileage. It is how it is and I hope in the future these things can be better.
“I think we are more in contention than we definitely were last year. I don’t know where we really are but I have the feeling we are more there than anything. The whole field is bunched up, but the midfield especially.
I don’t know where we are in the midfield but doesn’t matter where you are, if you’re last of the midfield or in the top of the midfield, it isn’t going to make a lot of difference.
“I hope by Melbourne we can be strong and start the season on a high.”