Grand Prix 2015 Mexico Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Welcome to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico. We are back after 23 years.

1992 was the last race held here. The reasons it was cancelled were principally due to money issues, but also in no small part because of increasingly severe bumps on the track that they couldn’t afford to fix. This coupled with problems in Mexico City itself including increasing air pollution and a rapidly growing and increasingly lawless population saw the venue get the axe.

In 2015 Mexico city is the most populous city, with the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere, some 3 times larger than greater London. The visit Mexico brochures would describe it as colourful and wild, yet fail to mention the car jacking, gun battles, subway gangs and a murder rate over 5 times higher than London. I would love to visit, but you certainly want to make sure you read your guide book before you get off the plane as walking into the wrong area is definitely bad for your health. The city is set at a dizzying height of 2250m (7380feet) above sea level. Although the drivers may not exactly need oxygen masks, the cars at any rate will feel under powered here from the thinner air. Aero also works less efficiently in thinner air. With so many variables, I am hoping for a shake up in the running order as some teams nail the engine and areo settings and others mess it up.

The Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit has had $300 million thrown at it from state, federal and private investors in order to pay for what is now a heavily modified complex since our last visit here.

The old pits were demolished, the track, kerbs and crash barriers ripped up and the grandstands bulldozed. In early 2014 this place was literally a muddy field.

All the corners have been redesigned, mostly to accommodate safety run offs and aid overtaking, but most retain the spirit of the corner they replace such as the hair pin and the esses. A bigger change is the Peraltada that is now cut in half, with the ‘remaining’ half now slightly tighter and the removed half now one of the most fun stadium sections I have seen with the track going between 2 grandstands. I can already hear the groans about chopping up this famous corner, but the bottom line is the Peraltada had to be changed due to the proximity of the buildings preventing the existing small run off from being expanded. A hard concrete wall at the exit of a 186mph corner is simply not possible today. Some videos of the old corner and why it was changed are at the foot of this article.

The entire track has been laid anew to get rid of the horrendous bumps. No doubt they will return in time as the whole area is built on a lake bed next to 3 tectonic plate fault lines and is prone to earth quakes. But with any luck the track will get a good few years of smooth running.

As for the weather, at this point Hurricane Patricia seems to of been all talk and no trousers.Having said that there is little news of damage at the circuit. Maybe thats a good thing. Hopefully we will be getting a race. If we do, almost certainly it will be wet, the forecast is for thunderstorms all week.

So at this point in the season with 16 races down and just 3 to go, Merecedes and Lewis are our world champions :1st: and we are now just racing for kicks. which is absolutely fine by me. I’m looking forward to this one, lets hope it delivers.

The track mods.

The crashes.

Senna 1991

Mansell Berger. No crash just amazing.

Phillppe Alliot 1988 (not dead)
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Yeah that long straight is going to mean every sucker without a Merc engine is going to be a sitting duck especially with DRS.

I know overtaking is suppose to make races better, but when its so easy in one spot a driver waits until he gets there and can just put his foot on the pedal and have it done before we even reach a braking zone then it holds no interest for me.
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I hope they have put the DRS line then further down the straight to minimise the tow effect

The low grip is catching a few people out

Anyone think we may get some Somberos on the podium?
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Ideal Lap (sum best sectors) in the Qual:
Qual – No – Driver – Qual Result – Ideal Lap – Flaw
1 – 6 – N.ROSBERG – 01:19,480 – 01:19,469 – 00,011
2 – 44 – L.HAMILTON – 01:19,668 – 01:19,569 – 00,099
3 – 5 – S.VETTEL – 01:19,850 – 01:19,821 – 00,029
4 – 26 – D.KVYAT – 01:20,398 – 01:20,221 – 00,177
5 – 3 – D.RICCIARDO – 01:20,399 – 01:20,281 – 00,118
6 – 77 – V.BOTTAS – 01:20,448 – 01:20,299 – 00,149
7 – 19 – F.MASSA – 01:20,567 – 01:20,447 – 00,120
9 – 11 – S.PEREZ – 01:20,716 – 01:20,585 – 00,131
8 – 33 – M.VERSTAPPEN – 01:20,710 – 01:20,614 – 00,096
10 – 27 – N.HULKENBERG – 01:20,788 – 01:20,742 – 00,046
Mark Hughes has already predicted Nico is going to be first out of turn 1 . I think Nico will make sure he's on the inside line to the corner for a start
Looking forward to seeing massive run down to turn 1 could be very interesting. I think its got pile up written all over it be because of the problems drivers like bottas, maldonado & kimi have had, whether thats between the Mercedes as nico decides he going not going to give up or the normal carbon fibre zone in mid pack because someone outbraked themselves we will see

As I said on Friday I was 18 mths old last time Mexico was in f1. But I've grown to like this track, the baseball system which I was wary off is genius & nice to see crowd roar that I really only hear twice a year in monza or silverstone really adds to it. & the 60% chance of thunderstorms between 1 - 3pm could mske things very interesting
If the volcano is southeast of Mexico City with the ash heading north some of the engines could face problems. From talking to friends who were in the Mount St Helens area it seems that the ash can spread out and to widespread damage; there was one man who told me that he just wiped the ash off his car which removed the paint, another was making a fortune from flights close to the mountain until he discovered what damage was being done to his aircraft's internals. It would at least be an unusual way of retiring.:)
Well, I missed qualie as I was watching Spectre but having now got through the recording I didn't miss much. Could we see Kyvatt and Verstappen at Red Bull next year? Danii appears to have the measure of Ricciardo and given everyone on here thought Daniel was the second coming after he beat Vettel in 2014 this must mean Danii could only have been beaten by Prost or Scumacher in their prime.
Though Kyvatt can out qualify Ricciardo his race craft is not quite on the same level when all is going well, reference Austin and passing the Mercs.
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