Mexican GP aims to send "powerful message" after tragedy

Mexican Grand Prix organisers are hoping the event will act as a rallying point for the nation as it tries to recover from the tragedy of its recent earthquake.

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City on Tuesday evening and has so far killed at least 250 people.

Organisers do not expect the devastation to disrupt the race, which is due to take place at the end of next month, with the track escaping undamaged in the disaster.

Rodrigo Sanchez Peraza, national press officer and marketing director for the Mexican GP, said the circuit had been revamped for its 2015 return to Formula 1 with the threat of earthquakes in mind.

"We'll continue doing the assessments as we go, but so far there's really no concern - we'll have a race," he said.

"We need to remain together in the bad and the good, not only in the bad. I think that's a powerful message and something we need to show.

"The same pride you see in the grandstands, we're seeing it in devastation zones right now."

Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, who's patriotic driver programme helped propel Force India driver Sergio Perez into F1, is supporting relief efforts by pledging five pesos for every peso donated – a pledge also matched by Perez himself.

Organisers are also urging people to support the country's recovery by donating to UNICEF Mexico, the Mexican Red Cross, Oxfam Mexico and Save the Children Mexico, as well as well as the foundations set up by Slim and Perez.

They say they are still finalising plans for F1's October visit to the Circuito Hermanos Rodriguez, which has passed two earthquake inspections without cause for concern, and believe the race will take on added significance in the wake of this national disaster.

Federico Gonzalez, managing director of the Mexican GP, added: "Our priority at the moment is the recovery of the city. We are united with the individuals and families affected.

"The Mexican spirit of humanity and determination are a force to be reckoned with and it's heartening to see this in action across the city.

"As demonstrated during the two most recent editions of the Mexico Grand Prix, when the Mexican people come together we achieve incredible things. At this moment, we are all united and working together making sure we get through this.

"We want to reach out to the international community and seek their support over the coming weeks and months; there are lots of ways people can help.

"We deeply appreciate all the support and affection already demonstrated from all over the world."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Track Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Article type Breaking news