Grand Prix 2018 Mexico Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The Mexican grand prix is our next race and you lucky people have got me writing this one up. Good luck to all who carry on reading, you might need it ;)

F1 has long had a stop and start love affair with Mexico City but the Autrodromo Hermanos Circuit once again hosts this race. For those who don't already know, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was in part named after two brothers who tragically lost their lives there. Ricardo died shortly after the circuit opened in 1962 and sadly his brother Pedro also died whilst racing some nine years later in 1971 but in Germany. It is located in Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City which is in the south east of Mexico City and is a public park that has been used for other events such as a baseball, the park is also home to the Insomniacs Electric Festival or EDC Mexico, a popular music festival that attracts over 200,000 people.

The thin air in Mexico City can cause problems for both drivers and cars, the speed at which the cars can get up to on the main straight is 370 km/h or 230 mph in old money. It first appeared on the calendar in 1962 as a non championship race before becoming a championship race in 1963. It remained on the calendar until 1970, had a brief reinstatement from 1986 to 1992 before finally returning again in 2015 and has since run to date. During one of the breaks it was used for the Grand Prix Of Mexico Champ Car. Sebastien Bourdais the former Toro Rosso driver apparently won three of the six races held there from 2002 - 2007.

After some speculation in the years beforehand, this race returned to the calendar in 2015. It was probably helped by having two Mexican drivers at that time with Sergio 'Checo' Perez and Esteban Gutierrez. Whilst Gutierrez is now a mere memory Perez is still there plugging away at Racing Point Force India and will no doubt be the busiest man on the grid this race weekend. Perez has never done that well at his home race, he's certainly not made an appearance on the podium so far. Can he do better this year? Somehow I doubt it unless something extraordinary happens ahead of him. Checo has of course been confirmed at Racing Point Force India in 2019 most likely with Lance Stroll as his team mate. His current team mate Esteban Ocon could be doing a straight swap with Stroll by taking his former seat at Williams.

Since 2015 we've had three different winners here, Rosberg in 2015, Hamilton in 2016 and Verstappen in 2017, so will it be a fourth different driver on the top step in 2018? In 2017 your pole sitter was Vettel and the podium was as follows: 1st Verstappen, 2nd Bottas, 3rd Raikkonen.

With only this race and two more this year it’s so far been a season for Mercedes to savour and for Ferrari to wonder where it all went so wrong. A really good race in USA and a rare win by Kimi with Seb 4th and the title goes on to Mexico. Vettel has made some big mistakes, mostly borne out of his desperation to win for Ferrari it seems, whether the pressure on him is coming from himself or the team it’s hard to say, either way it’s not done his racing any good. He did well in Austin though, that pass at the end on Bottas was crucial in some ways. Vettel and Verstappen both have new team mates coming in 2019, I am wondering what, if any, effect that will have on them. I’d like to think it would be positive but who knows?

So it's hello or Hola! to Mexico, slap on your sombrero, let your feet get tapping to the rhythmn of the mariachi bands and let’s hope we all enjoy another good race.
 
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siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Then why shouldn't Ferrari concentrate all their energies to next season, starting with Brazil Titch ?
Yes, they should.

If you look at the number of fastest laps set by the teams, which IMO is a more valid method of measuring race performance than is qualifying, Ferrari has only been the third fastest car this season. Mercedes has the most FLs, followed by the RBs, and then the Red Menace, with one-third as many as the Bulls. If the RBs had anything like decent reliability, they might have been able to really challenge the Mercs. The difference in Ferrari performance between qualifying and racing would seem to indicate aero problems when they are in dirty air.
 

Chasz

Podium Finisher
Stiffert the fastest laps method may have been the best way to measure the quickest car during the refuelling or indeed before Pirelli but you can easily have someone pit for fresh boots towards the end of the race and set a faster time than those on older tyres. I think this explains why RB has such a high number of FLs proportionally, as I can't believe they were a faster package than Ferrari!
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Then why shouldn't Ferrari concentrate all their energies to next season, starting with Brazil Titch ?

Well no reason at all Bill Boddy , I was responding to the post above from Chasz, who seemed to be suggesting that if Ferrari were faster than the Mercedes for the last two races it would put them on a par for the entire season
 
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siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Chasz

Given that ANY team could use such a strategy, why, in your estimation, would the Bulls be using it and not Ferrari?
 

Chasz

Podium Finisher
I'm entirely sure I said that. I'm more pointing out that strategy permutations make counting FLs as a measure of overall package performance not necessarily the best measure.

I said, (in my opinion!), the Ferrari is a better overall package than the RB
 
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