F1’s next stop is Mexico where last year Lewis Hamilton sealed his 4th world title and is very likely to seal his 5th, all he needs is 6 championship points and he equals Juan Manuel Fangio moving to 2nd on the all time list for world titles.
The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez features 17 corners and sits at an elevation of around 7,500ft, the thin air will be problematic for engines as Renault discovered last year after suffering multiple failures. Overtaking isn’t the easiest and turn one and turn 12 provide the best overtaking opportunities but we have seen some great wheel-to-wheel battles courtesy of Alonso and Hamilton last year. When returning to the F1 calendar in 2015 a few noticeable changes were made the track layout, most notably the Peraltada which used to be a fast long right-hander but now has been replaced by a stadium complex which sees the cars drive through the middle of a stadium.
A Red Bull Track?
Max Verstappen won last years race but Red Bull have been quick since the tracks return, Daniil Kvyat almost scored a podium after a long battle with Bottas in 2015 and Daniel Ricciardo took 3rd place in 2016 after both Vertstappen and Vettel received penalties. Perhaps Mexico is the most even in terms of performance for the top three with all being in contention for the win last year.
Drivers to watch:
Kimi Raikkonen has just come off the back his first win in 5 years, he has also outscored teammate Vettel in the past 5 races and is coming back on form. Raikkonen only has 3 races left with Ferrari and he will definitely be looking to score one more win with the scuderia.
Sergio Perez enters his home race where he hasn’t been the most competitive, he has been typically beaten around here but with the Force India on form with more financial backing and a motivated team there is no reason why Perez can get his best home result yet.
Nico Hulkenberg has shown good pace round here, beating Perez when the pair where teammates on both occasions with two 7th place finishes and with the Renault suited to the track expect Nico to be in a close battle for best of the rest.
Brendon Hartley has shown good pace in the past couple of races and with his future in doubt he will be more motivated than ever to get a good result.
Drivers in need of a result:
Valtteri Bottas is still winless this season and is looking like he may finish the year without one, with speculation already starting about Ocon replacing him for 2020 it is critical that he proves he is the man for the job and has to start winning here in Mexico.
Sebastian Vettel won’t be champion this year but he can at-least end the year on a high by getting back to winning ways, if he can stop his mistakes in combat then this is achievable, the car has the potential to win but Vettel just needs to execute a clean weekend.
Thankfully the past couple of years has shown that this is a circuit which doesn’t favour a particular team, I do think Red Bull will be able to get their 4th win of the season but it won’t be an easy ride. Also expect Hamilton to seal the title in Mexico, the only way this won’t happen is if he repeats his result from last year where he finished 9th.
Make sure to join in on the conversation and follow us on Twitter & Instagram: