F1 2016: Mexican GP Preview

Following the US Grand Prix, Formula One heads to South America for the second running of the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mexican Grand Prix was previously on the F1 calendar from 1963 to 1970 and again from 1986 to 1992, but made a return in 2015. Last year’s race was won by Nico Rosberg – who also started from pole position – finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Circuit: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Number of Laps: 71
Circuit Length: 4.304km
Number of Corners: 17
Lap Record: 1:20.521 Nico Rosberg (2015)
Previous Mexico winners still on the grid: 1
Most Successful Team: Lotus, McLaren & Williams (3 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Supersoft

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez features the longest run to turn one on the current calendar which stands at 800m. The circuit itself is a mixture of long straights, fast flowing sections and a tricky stadium section at the end of the lap. It is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar but features its own unique challenges. Due to the location of the circuit, it is the highest on the calendar in terms of altitude which has an adverse affect on the cars. Teams will need to run higher downforce levels to compensate for this and brakes can also be difficult to cool.

Because of the fact that Formula One only returned to the track last year, and a lot of reconfiguration and profiling work was held prior to that, grip levels will probably still be low. There are plenty of run off areas at most parts of the track should drivers find themselves making any mistakes.

There will be two Mexican drivers on the grid for this year’s race – Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez. Gutierrez is still looking for his first points of the season while Perez is currently best of the rest in the drivers championship – outside of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari drivers.

Rosberg currently leads the championship by 26 points – still more than a race victory. With 75 points up for grabs and Hamilton winning at the US Grand Prix, the championship is still very much up for grabs. However, if Rosberg wins this weekend and Hamilton fails to finish in the points then Rosberg will become world champion. Rosberg won last year and was fastest in two out of three of the practice sessions as well as taking pole position. He will be hoping to repeat that form this year to return to the top step.

 

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