With only 4 races left until the end of the season, we move to the American continent to see who will emerge victorious in Mexico City. Lewis Hamilton has a good chance of being crowned world champion for the sixth time this weekend, all depending on what his teammate Valtteri Bottas will do, the only one left in the title battle with his British team-mate.
Surprisingly, Max Verstappen is the winner of the last two editions, and a win this weekend would equal him with the great Jim Clark, which would be a remarkable achievement for a young driver, just 22 years old.
The history of the Mexican Grand Prix is divided into three distinct periods defined by the rivalries of those times. The 1960s saw Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jacky Ickx struggling with cars from that time on the improvised “Magdalena Mixhuca” circuit in downtown Mexico City. During the end of the 1980s we were surprised by the battle between Williams, McLaren, and Ferrari, with Senna, Mansell, and Prost winning titles. And since 2015, Formula 1 has returned to Mexico where it has surprising popularity.
The circuit “Hermanos Rodriguez” certainly contributes to the success of this Grand Prix, the best example being the section of the last corners, where the pilots go through a baseball stadium redesigned for a unique experience of watching Formula 1. The circuits length of 4 km and 304 meters, with a total of 17 turns, is situated at an altitude of 2200 meters, well above the other circuits in the calendar. This altitude means a low air density and the aerodynamic performance automatically drops considerably along the grid, and the engines are more prone to malfunctions due to overheating or a turbine that has exceeded its mechanical threshold.
Historically, (in the modern era) Red Bull have been very competitive on this circuit, due to an exceptional aerodynamic pressure, but Mercedes have recovered regarding this aspect this year and seem to have taken this crown from Red Bull. The two straight lines, however, may be the key for those at Ferrari who, as is well known, can also have a 10 km/h speed advantage over Mercedes. All this, combined with a weather forecast full of surprises, with an 80% chance of precipitation for Saturday and Sunday, promise that this weekend will rise to the level of this year’s race in Germany.
Looking at the selection of tires, the team choices are relatively different from previous races, they choose a surprisingly large number of Medium tires. The possible explanation would be the reduced aerodynamic pressure that would not favour the Soft compound tires so much.
The Program for this weekend (Centrul European Time):
- First Free Practice Session (FP1) – 17:00
- Second Free Practice Session (FP2) – 21:00
- Third Free Practice Session (FP3) – 17:00
- Qualifying – 20:00
- The Grand Prix of Mexico – 20:10
- Source: GP24 Senior Engineering Editor, Radu Camarascu
- Photocredit: Formula 1 World Championship Ltd.
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