Mexico City F1 Grand Prix 2021: Business aviation destination guide
After being canceled due to COVID in 2020, the Mexican City Formula One (F1) Grand Prix returns to Mexico City Nov. 7, 2021. Since its return to Mexico City in 2015, the Mexican Grand Prix, has become a major international event, drawing large numbers of drivers and their teams, race enthusiasts, celebrities and corporate sponsors from around the world. In 2019, more than 345,000+ spectators attended the race. In a city the size of Mexico City, a few hundred thousand people, can be easily absorbed. The region’s business aviation infrastructure is another story. Whether you’re planning on attending the race or just might be in the region the week it’s held – your planning should begin now. Here’s what you need to know.
The race will be held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. The schedule is as follows:
- Friday-Saturday, November 5-6th: Practice
- Saturday, November 6th: Qualifying
- Sunday, November 7th: Race
F1 Grand Prix’s attract more than race enthusiasts, and the race itself is merely the finale of a high-traffic period of race-related events throughout Mexico City. A who’s who of international celebrities and jetsetters will flock to Mexico City to see and be seen at its legendary VIP nightlife. Click here for more on the F1 Mexican Grand Prix Experiences packages.
Preferred airport – Toluca International
Toluca (MMTO) is the primary and realistically only airport option for General Aviation (GA) operators attending the race, as Mexico City (MMMX) is predominantly reserved for scheduled commercial and head of state operations, and it’s very difficult to arrange GA access into this location. MMTO is a 24-hour airport of entry with 24/7 Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance, full GA support services, Ground Support Equipment (GSE), aviation fuel, in-flight catering, and ample parking (depending on the FBO used). Drive time from MMTO to Mexico City is between one and a half and two hours, depending on traffic.
Parking is at a premium and not all FBOs and hangars are the same. During peak periods, some handlers can be seen virtually stacking aircraft on top of each other, so be sure to ask your ground handler their safety procedures including minimum distance separation for parking. Similarly, Due to space restrictions, overnight hangar parking will be in short supply and high demand during this period—especially for transient, non-based operators. For this reason, in 2018, Universal Aviation Mexico – Toluca opened its fifth hangar at Toluca—bringing its total hangar space to almost 170,000 square feet. Request a free quote for handling here.
Airport security at MMTO is good, with support from military, federal police and airport guard services, rendering additional private security for your aircraft unnecessary. Within Mexico City, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid well-known higher risk areas, particularly at night, and only use pre-vetted transportation.
Using un-vetted taxis and ground transport is discouraged. The safest and most efficient option for navigating Mexico City’s congested traffic is via pre-paid (car with driver) ground transport. Because this is the best option, availability is usually limited during high-traffic events, so it’s best to book early. You can get a free quote for ground transportation through Drivania Chauffeurs.
Demand for preferred hotel accommodations and pricing, will be higher than normal during the Grand Prix and may sell out. While crew should not have a problem securing 4–star accommodations in the MMTO area this location is not recommended for passengers due to long travel times to event sites.
If you’re planning to operate to Mexico City for the 2021 Formula One (F1) Grand Prix, preparation should begin now. Parking and third-party services will be at a premium before and after the event. In a city the size of Mexico City, a few hundred thousand people, can be easily absorbed. The region’s business aviation infrastructure is another story. Whether you’re planning on attending the race or just might be in the region the week it’s held – your planning should begin now. Here’s what you need to know.