Mexican Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 28th October 2018

Can Lewis Hamilton finally clinch the world title at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix? The Mercedes driver missed the chance in the US last weekend, and they switch focus to Mexico City this weekend, as the 2018 campaign winds down. There’s just three races to go, but potentially only one in the title battle.

Hamilton’s focus this weekend is going to be on securing the finish he needs to put the title beyond doubt. If he finishes seventh or higher, the championship is his. Meanwhile, anything less than maximum points for Sebastian Vettel would end his chances. We expect the Brit to focus on keeping things simple and securing glory, which could leave this race open. That could lead to a dramatic weekend in Mexico City.

Top Tips

Max Verstappen to win @ 7/2

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

There are just three races remaining this season, with visits to Brazil and Abu Dhabi to come. Champion-elect, Hamilton, is hoping to make those last two irrelevant in the title race, with just a second win here. The Mexican Grand Prix is in its fourth year, following a 12 year break up to 2015.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
19/21 Mexico Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez 305km / 71 Laps

Schedule

 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 26th Oct 16:00 17:30 Wet / 16° -
Practice 2 Fri 26th Oct 20:00 21:30 Wet / 20° -
Practice 3 Sat 27th Oct 16:00 17:30 Dry / 14° -
Qualifying Sat 27th Oct 19:00 20:00 Dry / 17° Sky F1
Race Sun 28th Oct 19:10 21:10 Dry / 21° Sky F1

Previous Race Results (2017)

Max Verstappen claimed glory in Mexico last year, seeing off the challenge of the two Finns, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second and third respectively. The Dutchman’s success made up for his teammate, who was eliminated after just five laps of the race completed.

Meanwhile, the title race came to an end here last year too. Sebastian Vettel failed to make the podium, coming in fourth. Meanwhile, Hamilton finished ninth. While that was a poor return after he finished third in qualifying, it probably didn’t bother him too much as he celebrated his fourth world title. The Mercedes man will be hoping history repeats itself in Mexico City this weekend, as will Verstappen.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 2 25
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 4 18
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 5 15
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1 12
5 Esteban Ocon Force India 6 10
6 Lance Stroll Williams 11 8
7 Sergio Perez Force India 9 6
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 14 4
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 3 2
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 18 1

Race News: Kimi the Happy History Maker

Kimi Raikkonen said he is, “very happy” about his move to Sauber for the 2019 campaign. The 39-year-old is in the last embers of his Ferrari spell, and he capped off a terrific time there with a victory at the US GP. His win made him the oldest victor at a Grand Prix since Nigel Mansell in 1994, and the Finn doesn’t plan on leaving the big stage anytime soon.

After months of silence on his future, Kimi has revealed his excitement about his move. Ferrari are aiming to freshen up, so the Finn takes his experience to Sauber for the new campaign. “For me, as a driver, I want different challenges,” Raikkonen said. “I want different things and I'm actually very happy to go there.”

Analysis: Hamilton’s Focus is the Key

Lewis Hamilton is in fantastic form ahead of this race, but his third place finish on Sunday ended a four race winning streak. That great run put him clear in the title race, and on the verge of claiming a fifth world crown. He came short of glory last weekend, but he managed to extend his lead by three points, to give him a 70 point advantage over his nearest rival. That means this weekend is almost certain to see Hamilton secure the title.

However, what focus Hamilton has could decide this race. A seventh place finish would put the title out of Vettel’s reach, and that seems likely. Hamilton has only missed out on the top three on three occasions, and the last time that happened was back on the 1st of July at the Austrian Grand Prix when he was forced to retire. We see Hamilton getting the finish he needs, but we don’t think he’s going to risk pushing for the race win when the bar for the title is so low this weekend. He’s likely to play it safe in Mexico City, which means we expect someone else to take maximum points.

Final Verdict: Verstappen To Win

We can’t justify backing Vettel to win at his current price of 13/8, as that’s too short for a man who has won two races since the end of June. He’s failed to make the top two in his last five outings, so we’re backing against the German gaining the victory he needs to stay in the title race.

We think it’s worth backing Verstappen to claim a win, after his second place finish in the US. He won here last season, and after some solid form he looks like a good each way bet at 7/2. On top of that, Hamilton should leave an opening on the podium, so we’re backing Kimi Raikkonen to finish in the top three, which is priced at 6/5.

About

Mexican Grand Prix
Christian Ramiro González Verón, Flickr

As one of the more colourful races on the Formula 1 set up, the Mexican Grand Prix is one that comes with a carnival atmosphere and offers a unique look at one of the more demanding tracks in rotation.

It was first held as a Championship race in 1963, won by British driver, Jim Clark. The race hasn’t always been a permanent fixture, with no races held between 1971 to 1985 and from 1993 through to 2014. A return in 2015 has been widely welcomed by the drivers who have to deal with the highest track of the year, posing new challenges that teams often aren’t used to.

Track Highlights

Mexican Grand Prix Track: Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located just to the east of Mexico’s capital, Mexico City. The race attracts more than 300,000 fans over the course of a weekend, all set to cheer on any home favourites that are racing – more recently that of Sergio Perez and Estoban Gutierrez.

The track is also the highest of the season due to altitude, meaning that the cars run hot and drivers are needed to acclimatise before the start of the Grand Prix – such is the strains that the thin air has. The track has changed considerably since first hosting in 1963, with the grandstands of the new stadium becoming the focal point of the new layout.

The drivers must get a good run out of the final corner to ensure maximum traction throughout the pit straight. Drivers often take up the middle lane of the track in the run down to turn one, which has a large breaking area and is the start of a sequence of three corners. Drivers need to be confident and assured as they go through the apex in turn 2 and stay aggressive as they throw the car through turn 3.

The drivers then have a short burst through the DRS zone as they come up to the next turn. Again, it’s three corners that are grouped together. Turn 4 has the tightest apex of the group, before drivers feather the throttle through turns 5 and 6, again trying to get as wide on the track as possible in order to get a run down the bank and into turn 7.

The next sequence of corners is where the drivers really start to feel alive in the Grand Prix. They almost literally throw the cars into the corners and rely on the grip being there. All the corners are run at well over 180kmph, making for fast transitions, putting huge force on both the car and the body of the driver.

The key for the drivers from turn 7 all the way up to the stadium at turn 12 is to keep things nice and tidy, using the kerbs to try and avoid any oversteer that may come in should they turn too sharply.

The run up to turn 12 is where the drivers are able to get a slight breather, but the speeds that are carried throughout the previous corners mean that it’s a relatively short run. This is one of the tightest sections on track but also the most impressive as they aps the new stadium in what has developed into one of the most stunning sections of a Formula 1 track anywhere in the world, with the grandstands packed to the rafters.

The final S bends are tough to negotiate for the drivers as the kerbs are high meaning that they aren’t able to cut as much as these corners as they like. A good drive out of here is imperative as the drivers trigger the final DRS zone and then across the line to finish their laps.

History

Aerial View of the Mexican Grand Prix Track
Aerial View of the Circuit © Planet Labs, Inc. (cc-by-sa/4.0)

The track is actually a part of a public park and was built in 1962. The removal of the Grand Prix in 1970 was down to overcrowding issues, where the powers that be decided that it was too much of a health and safety risk to keep running there in its current format.

New pit lanes and grandstands were included for the reopening in 1986. It’s seen several improvements of the track since then and holds a record attendance of over 400,000 for one of the CART Championship races.

2017 – Verstappen Beats Both Vettel & Hamilton

The 2017 Mexican Grand Prix was as action packed as racing comes. Verstappen already had a reputation as being an aggressive driver, but when he made contact with both Hamilton and Vettel on route to his maiden win at the track, this reputation was enhanced even further. Qualifying in second position, Verstappen managed to jump Vettel at the second corner and lead for much of the race.

However, it was Hamilton who would have the last laugh as he got the points he needed to secure his fourth world title.

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