All info you want to see before the 2021 Mexico F1 GP starts
Mexico returns to the Formula 1 World Championship with the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix and the event comes right in the middle of a heated World Championship fight between leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
|Battle for P3 in WCC and the rest of the field|
|2021 Mexico City GP Facts & Figures|
|Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez info|
|2021 Mexico F1 Grand Prix - Tyres|
|2021 Mexico F1 GP - Weather Forecast|
|Mexico F1 GP Podium Prediction|
The Mexican round will be the 18th Grand Prix of 2021, and the pair of excellent drivers are separated by just 12 points, with the Dutchman ahead on points after a big win at Austin, the site of the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished second in Austin and will be looking to strike back at the Dutch driver and Red Bull, which has been a tall task for the British driver and Mercedes during 2021.
The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez seems to be favorable for Red Bull and Max Verstappen, as he’s won twice at the place already and has often enjoyed the best car at the circuit, or at least a better car than the Mercedes (Ferrari had the upper hand in 2017).
Of course, things have not gone to plan in several races in which many expected certain teams to perform better than others. Red Bull started on Pole Position, won the race and finished with a double podium at Austin, which was a circuit expected to be favorable to Mercedes.
Although the trend of unpredictability in 2021 could make many analysts expect or believe that Mercedes could be at the front in Mexico, the reality is that Red Bull has been strong at that circuit in the last three races and should be expected to be even better this year, as it has usually had the best equipment.
Whether it was with Renault in 2017-2018 or Honda in 2019 (Verstappen was on Pole Position before receiving a penalty for not slowing down for yellow flags), Red Bull has been strong at Mexico, and there’s no main argument to say that it will not be fast, and possibly the fastest again.
Obviously, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes should definitely be considered as contenders for victory at Mexico and many circuits, even with the W12 not being the best car the German brand has produced since 2014. Verstappen started on Pole Position at Austin and won the race, but it certainly wasn’t straightforward, with Hamilton staying quite close until the final corner of the event.
Details will decide the 2021 World Championship battle, and it has been Red Bull who has dominated on that end in 2021. With five rounds left, anything can happen and a lot can change once we go to Abu Dhabi for the final Grand Prix of the year, and it can only be exciting.
Sergio Pérez could definitely be a huge factor in the race again, as he is coming off arguably his greatest weekend with Red Bull and one of his best races at Turkey. Coming off two consecutive podiums would’ve surely been the desired way for Pérez to arrive at his home Grand Prix with a car that can definitely win the race.
Of course, he will need some circumstances that wouldn’t be loved by Red Bull to have a chance to win the race, but he should be looking at the weekend as one where he can do what he did at Austin and perform well for his team and help Verstappen in the WDC.
Pérez could be looking at his first podium at Mexico if things go right for him, and his crowd will definitely love to receive the two-time Grand Prix winner in the Foro Sol for one of the most unique podium celebrations ever seen in Formula 1.
Valtteri Bottas will also be an important factor for Mercedes, or at least that’s what the team would like to see at Mexico. Bottas is coming off a sixth-place finish at Austin after taking another grid penalty for exceeding power unit parts, but his race at the US was less than impressive on a W12 that seems to struggle on traffic.
While Verstappen leads the WDC by 12 points with a tally of 287.5 against Hamilton’s 275.5, Bottas follows with 185, but would definitely like to increase his advantage over Pérez, who is now fourth with 150 points.
Red Bull’s focus on the WDC has made it difficult for the team in the World Constructors’ Championship, but it is not far from Mercedes, as the German squad has 460.5 points and Red Bull is at 437.5 at a gap that could definitely be salvaged in five races.
Battle for P3 in WCC and the rest of the field
Although Red Bull and Mercedes have taken all the attention during the 2021 Formula 1 season, there has been an immense fight right behind the two dominant outfits, as historic names are currently on a big scrap for third place in the World Constructors’ Championship.
McLaren (Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo) and Ferrari (Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz) are currently separated by 3.5 points and the balance of power has changed a lot between the two squads throughout the year. As of now, it seems that Ferrari has the upper hand after its latest engine upgrade, but McLaren could take advantage of the long main straight in the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Alpine (with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon) and AlphaTauri (Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda) are fighting for P5 in the WCC, and AlphaTauri is just 10 points behind the French team, after Alonso and Ocon failed to score at Austin.
Aston Martin (Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll) has scored points in consecutive races for the first time since the French and Styrian GPs and remains seventh in the WCC without threat from behind and without hopes of climbing many places. After scoring points in four of the five races between the Hungarian and Russian GPs, Williams (George Russell and Nicholas Latifi) now has two races without points and is eighth with 23 points.
Alfa Romeo (Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi) and Haas (Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin) close out the Constructors’ standings with seven and no points, respectively. The last two races have been heartbreaking for Alfa Romeo, with Antonio Giovinazzi finishing 11th in the last two GPs.
2021 Mexico City GP Facts & Figures
The 2021 edition of the Mexico City Grand Prix will be the 21st Formula 1 World Championship race held in the country.
The first edition of the Mexico F1 Grand Prix occurred in 1962, with a non-championship race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, which was then named Magdalena Mixhuca. The event was won by Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor, who shared their Lotus car.
However, the first Mexican Grand Prix saw tragedy, with Ricardo Rodríguez suffering a fatal crash during practice. The circuit was renamed after that 1962 race, and today celebrates the lives of Ricardo and his brother Pedro Rodríguez, who won two Formula 1 races in his career and also suffered a fatal crash later.
The first era of the official Mexican Grand Prix went from 1963 and 1970, and the event saw the World Drivers’ Championship sealed three times during that span because the race was often near the end of the calendar.
In 1964, John Surtees became the first (and so far only) man to win the motorcycle Riders’ Championship and Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, as he sealed his title at Mexico beating Graham Hill and Jim Clark. Clark led the first 63 laps of the race and was on course to win the title before a mechanical failure ended his title quest.
Denny Hulme sealed the 1967 WDC at Mexico after finishing third and protecting his championship lead against his Brabham teammate Jack Brabham, who finished second in the race behind Jim Clark.
Graham Hill did the same in 1968, as he won the race to beat Jackie Stewart’s Matra and Hulme’s McLaren in the final race of the season, at Mexico.
Crowd control became a problem in the late 1960s, and the 1970 Mexican Grand Prix, with a crowd of 200,000 was brutal in terms of safety for the crowd and drivers, and the event did not return to the calendar until the mid 1980s. Pedro Rodríguez’s death on July 11th, 1971, played a part in the cancellation of the 1971 Mexican Grand Prix as well.
The event returned to the F1 calendar in 1986, at the same track, and Gerhard Berger took his maiden GP win after tyre issues hindered the big rivals. It was also the first win of the Benetton team.
The 1987 race was a weird one, with Nelson Piquet finishing first on the track but Nigel Mansell winning for Williams because he had a 30-second lead when the race was stopped midway due to a red flag.
Alain Prost won for McLaren in the MP4/4 in 1988, and Ayrton Senna gave the Woking team consecutive wins at Mexico with a triumph in 1989. The 1990 race was arguably the best Mexican Grand Prix in recent decades, as Ayrton Senna lost the win in the late stages due to a puncture and Alain Prost emerged as the leader for Ferrari after starting 13th on the grid.
Moreover, the battle for second was amazing between Senna’s and Prost’s teammates, Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger. Berger overtook Mansell late, with the Englishman returning the favor with one of the greatest overtakes in F1 history, around the outside in the final corner, the Peraltada.
Williams-Renault dominated the 1991 and 1992 events, with Riccardo Patrese and Mansell, respectively. The 1992 event, however, saw pressure from FISA to make the track safer, while there were rumours of financial problems from the organizers of the event. Ultimately, Mexico left the F1 calendar again.
The Mexican Grand Prix returned to Formula 1 in 2015, with a renewed Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and it was a big event due to the presence of Mexican driver Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez.
Mexican Esteban Gutiérrez was also in the driver mix, and it all helped in making the Mexican round a big part of the country. Mercedes dominated the 2015 and 2016 events, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, respectively. Red Bull won consecutive races in 2017 and 2018 with Max Verstappen, who became the first driver to win straight races at the country since Jim Clark in the 1962 and 1963 editions (although the 1962 race was not part of the championship).
Hamilton and Mercedes returned to victory at Mexico in 2019, after the Englishman had a first-lap encounter with Verstappen in the first corner and both went off the track. The 2020 race was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the 2021 event is expected to be a big one.
Among drivers, Jim Clark, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Max Verstappen, and Lewis Hamilton are tied as the leaders in wins at Mexico, with two. Clark has three wins, but the first one was not an official Grand Prix. Among teams, Lotus, McLaren, Williams, and Mercedes are tied with three wins apiece for the most in the country.
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez track info
The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, at Mexico City, Mexico, is a 4.304-km long circuit with 17 corners that will demand great balance to the current Formula 1 cars, due to the number of turns it has and the long main straight.
Its elevation of over 2,200 meters plays a big role too, as it affects the cars’ aerodynamics and can often change the pecking order seen at other circuits due to the thin air. The fast final corner, Peraltada, was the main feature of the track in past decades, but since its return to F1 in 2015, part of the Peraltada was modified and the Foro Sol, which was a baseball stadium, is now part of the track and is surely one of the most spectacular images seen in F1 during race day.
The podium also takes place at the Foro Sol, instead of the usual site at the pit building.
There will be three DRS sections in the 2021 event: on the main straight, between turns 3 and 4, and between turns 11 and 12.
The race will be run over a distance of 305.354 km and will have 71 laps.
The lap record at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez was established by Valtteri Bottas, driving for Mercedes in 2018, with a 1:18.741 min lap in the 2018 race. Daniel Ricciardo established the outright Fastest Lap in Qualifying for the 2018 race, with a 1:14.759 min lap in the Red Bull RB14.
2021 Mexico City Grand Prix - Tyres
The dry tyres for the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix will be the C2 as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C4 as P Zero Red soft.
Pirelli explained their choice to go with the hardest option with a statement in their press release: “Like the United States Grand Prix, the Mexican Grand Prix is back on the calendar after a two-year absence. The tyres in the middle of the range have been selected for this race: C2 as the P Zero White hard, C3 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 as the P Zero Red soft. This is the same selection as was made in 2019, when the race was held few days earlier, but a step harder than in 2018 (when it was noticed that the C5 soft tyre was too aggressive a choice for Mexico)."
Although this is also the same tyre nomination as made for COTA a fortnight ago, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez is very different in character, being much smoother, with two tight and twisty final sectors as well as a long start-finish straight as part of a rapid opening sector.
This puts particular emphasis on braking, with traction a key element as well. The versatility of the P Zero tyres in the middle of the range makes them well-suited to the specific demands of the Mexico City track.
At around 2,285 metres, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez sits at the highest altitude of any track on the calendar (by more than 1000 metres). This means that the air is very thin, so although the cars run high levels of downforce to try and generate aerodynamic grip through corners, in reality the downforce effect is extremely minimised, which can lead to some sliding.
The top three in 2019 all ran a one-stop medium-hard strategy (with some long stints seen on the hard) although Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fourth with a two-stopper that featured two medium stints. The soft C4 wasn’t used extensively due to graining – although this was reduced between free practice and the race, with drivers starting on soft generally able to complete the grand prix using two stops.
The track has not had a lot of running over the last couple of years. As a result, the drivers can expect a particularly ‘green’ and slippery surface at first, which should evolve rapidly over the weekend. The weather is also unpredictable at this time of year in Mexico City, with the possibility of showers that can ‘reset’ the asphalt.”
The minimum starting pressures for the tyres will be 19.5 PSI (front) and 19.5 PSI (rear).
2021 Mexico City Grand Prix - Weather Forecast
Friday, Nov 5th - FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Times of sun and clouds
Max. temperature: 22°C
Chance of rain: 1%
Saturday, Nov 6th - FP3 & Qualifying
Conditions: Partly sunny and nice
Max. temperature: 22°C
Chance of rain: 0%
Sunday, Nov 7th - Race
Conditions: Rather cloudy
Max. temperature: 23°C
Chance of rain: 1%
Who will be on the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix podium?
The 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix is expected to have clear weather, which might give us a straightforward fight between the top teams, Red Bull and Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen enter the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix after winning the last four races at the country between them, with the British driver winning in 2016 and 2019, and Verstappen winning in 2017 and 2018.
The pair actually had a heated moment at the start of the 2019 event, when Verstappen tried to overtake Hamilton on the inside of Turn 1, and Hamilton stayed on the outside but was touched by the Dutchman, and both cars ultimately went onto the grass.
While the Englishman recovered to win the race, Verstappen had a rough afternoon after contact with Valtteri Bottas and a puncture on one of his car’s rear tyres.
Sunday’s race could have another big moment between the two title contenders, although none can really afford to risk their car and possibly have a Did Not Finish as a result. Of course, Red Bull is the favorite heading into the weekend, and a victory for Verstappen and a solid race from his teammate could be huge for the Austrian outfit in both championships.
Hamilton could be competitive at Mexico, and will need his Mercedes W12 to be at similar pace to the Red Bull to compete for the win, as does his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who needs a big weekend.
Verstappen, on his side, if the favorite for the Mexico event, and he will be looking for his first Pole Position at the circuit, as his 2019 effort was eliminated by a grid penalty for a yellow-flag infraction on his final Q3 run.
Ferrari and McLaren should be behind Red Bull and Mercedes, while the Scuderia could find some strong pace in the slow corners of the circuit and possibly go beyond a Top 4 finish.
The prediction for the Top 3 of the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix is 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Lewis Hamilton, 3. Sergio Pérez.
✅ Check out more posts with related topics: