Perez welcomes Mexico F1 return
6:37am Thursday 24th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Sergio Perez believes the return of the Mexico Grand Prix to the Formula One calendar can show the country as "the best in the world".
It was announced on Wednesday that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will be back on the F1 roadshow in 2015 for the first time since 1992 - with a five-year deal struck between the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the Mexico City circuit.
Race organisers have committed to improving and altering the track, with money also needing to be spent on updating grandstands and pit facilities to come into line with FIA regulations.
And for Perez, the fifth Mexican to compete in F1, a renovated circuit and a first race in 23 years gives his homeland a chance to showcase what they can do.
"The return of F1 to our country is a sign that the Mexican state can achieve anything," the Force India driver wrote on his website.
"It is a great opportunity to show the world what Mexico is and what we are capable of achieving. We're big and when we have the same tools as our competitors, we are the best in the world.
"The last time I raced in Mexico was before I went to Germany when I was only 14. So to be back racing in my country, with the people who have supported me throughout my career, is for me a dream come true."
Sauber's Estaban Gutierrez is the second Mexican driver on the current grid and he tweeted his delight at the news.
"What an incredible story! We will have a Mexico Grand Prix! Special thanks to everyone who made this dream a reality!," he wrote.
Ecclestone was not present at Thursday's press conference announcing the news but did send a message welcoming Mexico back into the F1 fold.
''After 23 years of absence, I am pleased to confirm that Formula One will be back in Mexico City in 2015,'' he said.
''I feel it is the right for F1 for and Mexico and I'm sure it will be to the benefit of both for many years. I look forward to welcoming you all to this global event next year.''
The Williams of Nigel Mansell won the 1992 race with the Briton on his way to the drivers' championship, but the F1 fraternity has not returned since.
A gap in the calendar, as well as taking logistics into account, means it is likely the race will run back-to-back with the United States Grand Prix held in Austin, Texas - although a concrete date is yet to be decided.
The race organisers will be hoping both Perez and Gutierrez remain in the sport next season as the duo would no doubt help draw a huge crowd, with projections that 180,000 spectators will pass through the gates over the three-day event.