Prixview – Mexican Grand Prix

Prixview Testing & Race Reports

Round twenty of the season sees Formula One head south and across the border to the capital of Mexico, Mexico City for the Mexican Grand Prix. The circuit was built in 1962, and held its first Grand Prix in October of that year when Ricardo Rodriguez was killed in practice for the non-championship race. His brother Pedro, made his debut her the following season however retired from the race because of a suspension issue forced him to retire.

The Autodromo is built in the heart of the capital around of Mexico and has a section which runs through a baseball stadium. That stadium over the past four years has created some iconic scene as the crowd roar as the drivers head through the Foro Sol baseball stadium. The crowds normally go wild for Sergio Perez, the passion can clearly be seen.

The circuit remains unchanged since the first race in 1963, it was built in 1959 and held its first race as a non-championship round in 1962. That race was won by lotus but saw the death of Rodrigues in practice. The 1964 race saw the drivers and constructors championship decided in favour of John Surtees and Ferrari.

The following year, Honda took their first win in F1. Before another championship decider in 1968, with Graham Hill beating Jackie Stewart and Denny Hulme to win the championship as Stewart dropped out the points with engine issues.

Mexico City on paper . should favour Mercedes, however remembering this circuit is at high altitude. This has always created problems for the cars who are down on power and performance.

However, one thing that remains is the elevation of 2,285 m (7,500 ft); the thin air causes difficulties for both the drivers and their cars. This makes Mexico challenge for the cars as there is less oxygen for them.

In 1970, a record crowd of approximately 200,000 arrived to see Pedro Rodríguez, forcing officials to delay the race start by an hour. They struggled to control the crowd and at one point a dog ran across the track and was hit by Stewart. That spelt the end of racing until 1986.

Formula one returned to Mexico in 1986, that race was won by Gerhard Berger his first race won. The following season, Derek Warwick crashed heavily at the Peraltada.

Since F1 returned after a twenty three year hiatus in 2015, since then Mercedes have only been beaten once by Max Verstappen last year. So far, there has been no repeat winner or a driver who won the title and Mexican Grand Prix.

Facts and figures

Race Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico 2018
Venue F1 Grand Prix Circuit 2015, Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City
Circuit Length 4.304 km (2.674 mi)
Laps 71
Race Distance 305.541 km (189.854 mi)
Lap Record 1:20.521 (Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 2015, FIA Formula One)
Most wins drivers Jim Clark (3)
Most wins manufacture Lotus (4)

Fast facts

  • Mexico City has the most museums in the world, with more than 160, almost all of which are free on Sundays! The city also has over 100 art galleries, and 30 concert halls
  • The population count for Greater Mexico City equaled 20.4 million people living over a more extensive land area measuring of 800 square miles (2,072 square kilometres).
  • Mexico’s flag is made up three vertical stripes. The left green stripe stands for hope, the middle white stripe represents purity, and the right red stripe represents the blood of those who died fighting for Mexico’s independence. The picture of an eagle eating a snake is based on an Aztec legend.
  • The largest pyramid in the world is the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico. It is also the largest monument ever constructed in the world
  • At 2,240 meters above sea level, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is by far the highest track on the current F1 calendar. Next highest is Brazil at 765 metres. At the other end of the scale, Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi and the Sochi Autodrom are both less than 1 metre above sea level.
  • Only four Mexicans have started their home race: Perez, Esteban Gutierrez (2016), Pedro Rodriguez (1963-1970) and Moises Solana (1963-68).

How Hamilton can win the title in Mexico

  • If Vettel wins in Mexico, Hamilton must finish seventh
  • If Vettel is second or lower in Mexico, Hamilton is world champion

Event timetable

Session Local BST/GMT
P1 10:00-11:30 16:00-17:30
P2 14:00-15:30 20:00-21:30
P3 10:00-11:00 16:00-17:00
Qualifying  13:00-14:00 19:00-20:00

(Note clock change in Mexico & UK back an hour)

Race 13:10 19:10


Driver Team Hypersofts Ultrasoft


L. Hamilton

Mercedes 8 3 2
V. Bottas 8 4


S. Vettel

Ferrari 8 3 2
K. Raikkonen 8 3


D. Ricciardo

Red Bull – Tag Heuer 9 3 1
M. Verstappen 9 2


S. Perez

Force India – Mercedes 9 2 2
E. Ocon 9 2


S. Sirotkin

Williams – Mercedes 9 3 1

L. Stroll

9 2


F. Alonso

McLaren – Renault 8 2 3
S. Vandoorne 9 2


P. Gasly

Toro Rosso –Honda 9 2 2

B. Hartley

9 2


R. Grosjean

Haas – Ferrari 9 2 2
K. Magnussen 9 3


N. Hulkenberg

Renault 10 2 1
C. Sainz 10 1


M. Ericsson

Sauber – Alfa Romeo 10 2 1
C. Leclerc 10 1




Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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