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Private donors revive Formula One race in Mexico after government cut funds

Private donors revive Formula One race in Mexico after government cut funds
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Mexican Grand Prix - Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico - October 28, 2018 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the World Championship REUTERS/Andres Stapff/File Photo -
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Andres Stapff(Reuters)
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MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – Formula One drivers will rev up their race cars again for the annual Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City’s mayor said on Wednesday, after a cut in government funding put the future of the widely attended race in question.

Mexico had signed a five-year contract for annual Grand Prix races in 2014. But after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December, he said the deal would not be renewed because public funds were needed for other tourism booster projects such as building the “Mayan Train” on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said a group of business people would help cover the costs, which local authorities have said are about $45 million (£37.04 million) a year.

“I want to give you all the good news. … Formula One is staying in Mexico,” Sheinbaum said in a video posted on Twitter, adding that the head of the governing body FIA would sign a new contract on Thursday.

“The city isn’t investing a single public resource,” Sheinbaum said. “It’s good news for the city, it brings tourism, it brings income.”

Formula One has held the Mexican Grand Prix every year since 2015, drawing a total of 1 million people. The competition previously ran in Mexico between 1963 to 1970, and again from 1986 to 1992.

(Reporting by Diego Ore; writing by Daina Beth Solomon; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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