Formula 1 returns with a strange racing triplet that will be decisive for the future of the 2021 World Cup. Mexico returns to the calendar after a year of absence due to the pandemic and with a surprising novelty: the name changes to the Grand Prix of Mexico City, something that we will also experience in Brazil.
Max Verstappen gave a coup of authority winning in Austin a race that was marked as a probable victory for Lewis Hamilton, so the difference in the general classification has increased again. But it’s still narrow enough that anything can happen in Mexico, a Red Bull-friendly circuit with some controversial points.
Verstappen is a clear favorite for the victory due to the height of the Mexican circuit
Verstappen is the big favorite to win in Mexico. In fact, a priori the Hermanos Rodríguez circuit should be the most favorable for Red Bull of the entire calendar together with Interlagos, which will be the next one. That means that Verstappen has two victories ahead of him that, if he succeeds, could leave him on the verge of the title.
The reason why Verstappen is the favorite is very clear: the circuit of Mexico is the one that is at the highest level of the entire world championship, ahead of Interlagos, which causes the density of the air to be lower. This dramatically benefits cars with higher downforce, and there Adrian Newey’s Red Bull always makes a difference.
To check it, you just have to see that Verstappen won in Mexico in 2017 and 2018, and if he didn’t in 2019, already with a Honda engine, it is because a strange penalty took away the pole position he had achieved and then Lewis Hamilton took him ahead at the start and punctured a tire. But the speed of Red Bull in Mexico is a constant.
What’s more, Sergio Pérez will also race with a Red Bull and on the home circuit. After two consecutive podiums, the Mexican could have a lot to say in the fight for the championship. If the doublet is possible in any circuit, it is in Mexico, even more so with how demanding the circuit is for the engines and the difficulties that Mercedes is going through.
From behind we must not lose sight of the battles between Ferrari and McLaren, since they are only separated by 3.5 points. Mexico could be a favorable circuit for those from Maranello, who are already on a roll, so if Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz do not fail, maybe there will be a change of positions in Mexico City.
Fernando Alonso also has an important contest, since Alpine is playing with Alpha Tauri the fifth position of constructors. Renault engines usually go well in Mexico and the Asturian premiered a full power unit in Austin, so there are reasons to think about a good role for Alonso, who also likes the circuit.
Spanish pilots have only added one point in Mexico, from Alonso in 2017
This year’s will be the first Grand Prix with the name of Mexico City, although in reality it will be the 21st Formula 1 race held at the Hermanos Rodríguez circuit. It premiered back in 1963 and has had three well-differentiated stages: in the ’60s, between the’ 80s and ’90s and the current one, which began in 2015.
Curiously, there is a fivefold tie in the list of drivers with the most victories in Mexico, since none have repeated three times. They have two wins Jim Clark, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Max Verstappen y Lewis Hamilton. The last two will do their best to stay alone in the head and get closer to a much desired World Cup.
By brands there is also a tie, in this case to three victories between four teams. Lotus, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes have a trio of triumphs on the Mexican circuit, and if the cabals are fulfilled Red Bull could join them this year, something that Ferrari also opts for. Here Honda won its first Formula 1 race, in 1965.
As for the Spanish riders, none have managed to get on the podium at this circuit. Alonso’s best result is a tenth place in 2017, his only point, and Sainz has not gone beyond thirteenth place. The second best place for a Spaniard in Mexico is an eleventh place from Luis Pérez-Sala in 1988.
We will have night schedules in Spain due to the difference with Mexico
Let us remember that there has been a change this year in television rights in Spain. Is now DAZN who owns them exclusively, although Movistar + will continue to click their signal on the DAZN F1 channel. It seems that in Mexico City there will be no weather surprises, as dry weather is expected for the entire weekend.
Regarding the schedules, logically we will have a very important change with respect to the traditional European ones, due to the time difference with Mexico. The race will start on Sunday at 8:00 p.m., but the qualifying session is going to be delayed on Saturday until 21:00. Totally night hours.
Schedules GP Mexico City 2021
- (FP1) Free practice: 18:30
- (FP2) Free practice: 22:00
- (FP3) Free practice: 18:00
- (Q) Qualifying: 21:00
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