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Catching up with Formula One: Mexico

Written by Sofia Costantino Edited by Hugh W

Are you ready to dive into the high-speed world of Formula One? Whether you're a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the sport, there's never been a better time to catch up with everything happening on track this year.

This article has got you covered, from the latest race results and driver standings to the biggest shocks and controversies. So buckle up and get ready to experience the thrill of the race like never before!

Image credits - Motorsport images

Welcome back to your catching up, this weekend we are going to the one and only Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, the twenty-third Mexican Grand Prix, almost 60 years after the first, on October 27th, 1963, a race won by the previously crowned Scottish driver Jim Clark, behind the wheel of the successful Lotus 25 single-seater.

Clark triumphed in seven of the ten valid races of that campaign, including that on the circuit called for the moment Circuito Ricardo Rodríguez, who died the previous year in an accident on the same circuit, in the tests before the preparatory race, not valid for the F1 championship. Sixty years later, already champion of this season, the non-stop driver Max Verstappen arrives in Mexico City with the very real possibility of breaking his own record (2022) of 15 wins in a season! Now within the select club of at least 50 GP winners. One more and he catches up to Alain Prost, three to Sebastian Vettel.

Image credits - Motorsport images

However, most eyes will be on his team-mate, the local Sergio “Checo” Pérez, who has the difficult task of getting a good result (preferably a win) that will claim it to his audience, his people, in his very own country. His last win was in Azerbaijan 14 Grand Prix ago, this putting him in a very delicate situation within his contract and his team.

Despite having a contract in force until the end of next season, his results cast doubt on his continued presence in the energy drink team, simply because he’s not giving the best results, with even more pressure from his teammate who’s already the world champion.

It’s possible the Red Bull team could well announce his decent and less traumatic departure from this upcoming GP at home.It’s possible that a change of scenery may be convenient to improve Checo’s self-esteem, if he’s planning to stay in Formula One.

Undoubtedly, losing the runner-up would be fatal, especially with Lewis Hamilton, who with greater motivation – despite his difficulties – has been more consistent and only because of mishaps in the last two races – the collision with his team-mate in Qatar and the disqualification of second place in Austin, Texas – has the Mexican been able to maintain the runner-up with a current lead of 39 points.

Image credits - Motorsport images

The lone star state in Austin Texas provided another classic race where tyre strategy was key to achieve great results. Max Verstappen continued his USA dominance but the real talking point was the post race DSQ for Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

By the way, here’s a fun fact for you: drivers have not been disqualified for 29 years due to excessive wear and tear on the central longitudinal board placed at the bottom of the floor of the single-seater.

It went to Michael Schumacher in the Benetton/Ford B-194, excluded from the classification of the 1994 Belgian GP, losing the first place achieved on track. Indeed, it had been introduced that year to prevent single-seaters from racing with the ground very close to the asphalt, because a possible cause of Ayrton Senna's fatal accident at Imola on 1 May was the total loss of grip when the vehicle went too low on the Tamburello bump.

With the grip effect determined by the fins, the issue was no longer a problem because the height to the ground was not the main factor. However, now with the adhesion effect dependent on the floor and side tunnels, the board is again a consideration to avoid a very low single-seater, which undoubtedly increases the grip.

For all, except Red Bull, the problem was that when the height to the ground was very low, there was an intermittent rebound (Porpoising), which almost all have eliminated by modifications to the structure of the floor and suspension.

The loss of more than a millimeter on the board (previously hardwood, now a synthetic compound) means automatic exclusion, due to the aerodynamic advantage of a car closer to the asphalt. Their podium’s joy quickly went away.

Image credits - Motorsport images

Hamilton had a strategy offset to Norris and Verstappen, which saw him fall behind the Red Bull at the first round of pit stops but he had fresher tyres to pass Lando at the end. Despite the protest, mostly from the British press, because the scrutiny is implemented in only some vehicles after each race, for reasons of time and with the same proceeding of other sports with doping, it is random and basically standard with the winners and the first places.

Now, onto this weekend, since 2015 only Mercedes (Rosberg & Hamilton) and Red Bull with Verstappen have achieved victory. The secret?... The height above sea level favours stability and less grip. We believe this weekend we’ll see a more motivated Checo, a fight for the win and hopefully a different podium.

P.s. : Lando’s first win in Formula One is surely coming, who knows if we’ll be able to witness it in the one and only Mexico.


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