With the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships wrapped up, F1 heads to Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez for the Mexican Grand Prix.
Red Bull secured their second consecutive Constructors’ Championship title last weekend as a first-place finish from Max Verstappen, and a fourth-place finish from Sergio Perez cemented Red Bull’s spot atop the standings with three races to go.
While the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships are wrapped up, there’s still an almighty battle going on for second place in both respective championships. Mexico will have a massive say in who claims the runners-up berths, so we should be in for a cracking race weekend.
Mexican Grand Prix
Sunday 30 October
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
To Win Race Outright
Max Verstappen 57/100
Charles Leclerc 9/2
Sergio Perez 9/2
Lewis Hamilton 12/1
Carlos Sainz 12/1
George Russel 25/1
What a cracker the United States Grand Prix turned out to be as Max Verstappen chased down Lewis Hamilton to take race honours. It was an excellent drive from Verstappen, who had to pass Charles Leclerc and Hamilton during the final salvos of the race due to an uncharacteristically slow pit stop from Red Bull. Hamilton would hold off a late charge from Leclerc with the Birt finishing second and the Ferrari man rounding out a podium.
On what was a sombre day for Red Bull – Red Bull co-founder and owner Dietrich Mateschitz passed away a day before the race – Sergio Perez would bring some joy to the team’s technical area as his fourth-place finish, coupled with Verstappen’s win, saw the team take their fifth Constructors’ title.
Perez would be joined in the top 6 by Brits George Russel (fifth) and Lando Norris (sixth). Sebastian Vettel produced a good drive with the former Ferrari man taking seventh, with his podium hopes dashed by an awful pitstop.
The final points-scoring berths went to Kevin Magnussen (eighth), Yuki Tsunoda (ninth) and Esteban Ocon (tenth). These drivers and Sebastian Vettel, were beneficiaries of a 30-second post-race penalty to Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard handed the punishment and subsequently losing eight places due to an incident with Norris.
The Track: Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – named after racing drivers and brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez – is packed with low-speed corners which will test the braking systems. The track does have one of the longest straights on the calendar, however, so the drivers won’t just be plodding around corners for the entirety of the race.
The 4.304-kilometre-long track is situated in a public park, named the Magdalena Sports City, in the South East of the Mexican capital. The circuit contains seventeen turns, with the most notorious of these being the high-speed corner which goes by the name of the “Peraltada”. This corner leads onto the start-finish line, and while it is a real challenge, it’s also a corner the drivers thoroughly enjoy.
The start-finish straight is 1.2 kilometres long and because of the high-speed exit from the Peraltada corner, drivers get a slingshot into it. This combined with the high altitude means that we will see some blistering sector times being set here.
Regarding the weather for this weekend, there’s a bit of rain floating around with the most forecast for qualifying on Saturday.
Last year’s race was won by Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton following the Ducth ace across the line. The podium was rounded out by Sergio Perez.
Charles LeClerc – Podium – Yes 5/10
The Ferrari has finished five of the last six races on the podium and seems almost as good as a sure thing here. He has a decent if not spectacular record out in Mexico finishing fifth out here last season and fourth in 2019. I reckon he’ll bag a podium this time around.
To Win Race Outright
Max Verstappen 57/10
The Red Bull ace had a great time of it in the States and showed how dominant his team are when it comes to speed. He may have claimed the Drivers’ Championship already, but he won’t let up as he goes hunting more records. I reckon he’ll claim another Mexican Grand Prix title this weekend.