Lewis Hamilton is closing in on a sixth Drivers’ World Championship title. If he outscores Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by at least 14 points at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Hamilton will be crowned 2019 world champion on Sunday. However, Mercedes are expecting a difficult race, and Ferrari man Charles Leclerc heads to the Mexican Formula One Grand Prix as the favourite.
Having finished in pole position in Mexico City last year, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will be hoping that history can repeat itself on Sunday. Verstappen is available at 4/1 for the win, while Vettel is currently priced at 10/3. World championship leader Hamilton, who has won just one of the last five Grands Prix, is available at 13/5.
This looks like being an open race and we could be in for a thriller. After securing their sixth successive Constructors’ Championship title last time out in Japan, will Mercedes have a winner in Mexico at the weekend?
Mexico City sits at an altitude of 2,250 metres above sea level, which certainly affects the performance of the cars. Mercedes have already said that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez does not suit their car, and they have not had a winner in Mexico since Hamilton prevailed in 2016. Lotus have picked up the most Mexican Grand Prix victories, winning on four occasions (1962, 1963, 1967 and 1968). Who will come out on top in testing conditions in Mexico City on Sunday?
|18/21||Mexico||Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez||305km / 71 Laps|
|Date||Start Time||Finish Time||Forecast Conditions||TV Coverage|
|Practice 1||Fri 25th October||16:00||17:30||Wet / 21°||–|
|Practice 2||Fri 25th October||20:00||21:30||Wet / 21°||–|
|Practice 3||Sat 26th October||16:00||17:00||Wet / 22°||–|
|Qualifying||Sat 26th October||19:00||20:00||Wet / 22°||Sky F1|
|Race||Sun 27th October||19:10||21:10||Wet / 22°||Sky F1|
Last Season’s Result (2018)
The 2018 Formula One Grand Prix in Mexico was the 20th edition of the Mexican GP. Hamilton went into the race with a 70-point lead in the championship, but the British ace finished in fourth spot, with teammate Bottas finishing one place behind in fifth. Despite picking up just 12 points, Hamilton secured his fifth world title.
The race was won by Verstappen, his second win of the series, with Ferrari finishing in second and third. Vettel took the silver medal, while Kimi Raikkonen ended his race in third position. Daniel Ricciardo, who was on pole position, retired on lap 61, which was his eighth retirement of the season. Let’s hope for plenty more thrills and spills at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||2||25|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||20||1|
Analysis: Can Mercedes Stop Ferrari in Mexico?
Since the halfway stage of this season’s Grand Prix series, Ferrari have been the team to watch. Leclerc picked up his first ever F1 race win at the Belgian Grand Prix, which he followed up with a famous win for Ferrari in Italy. Ferrari then made it a hat-trick of successes, as Vettel won in Singapore.
However, Mercedes have halted Ferrari’s momentum in the last two races, with Hamilton winning in Russia and Bottas taking 25 points in the last Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan a fortnight ago. You can get Ferrari at 5/6 to be the winning team on Sunday, while Mercedes are available at 7/4.
Leclerc to Claim Third Race Win
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto expects his team to have a good race in Mexico after two average contests. Ferrari will fancy their chances on the long straights of Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track, and Leclerc and Vettel could be battling it out for first place in Mexico City.
As we mentioned, Leclerc heads to Mexico as the 7/4 favourite, with Vettel slightly behind at 10/3. Leclerc has really come into his own in the red of Ferrari since the halfway break, and the Monaco man will be eyeing up a third Grand Prix of the season on Sunday. Our money is going on the 22-year-old.
Can Lewis Get the Job Done?
Hamilton may not win the race in Mexico City, but the British driver will no doubt take another giant leap towards the title. If the 34-year-old beats Bottas by 14 points on Sunday, Hamilton will claim his sixth world crown. However, Bottas, who is priced at 17/2 to win Sunday’s race, will want to make the last three Grands Prix of the season interesting, so Hamilton’s wait could go on.
Leclerc v Vettel
Leclerc and Vettel have been involved in their own personal scrap in recent months. Vettel, a five-time world champion, had to sit back and watch Leclerc dominate in Belgium and Italy, but the German struck back with an impressive victory in Singapore. Whether Leclerc or Vettel can reign supreme in Mexico remains to be seen, but Ferrari are odds-on to win this Grand Prix, and their car should get the better of Mercedes this weekend.
About the Mexican Grand Prix
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.
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.
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.