The contest for the drivers championship is tighter than ever as we head into the final five races of the year. The teams return to Mexico City for the first time in two years for the Mexican Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the driver’s championship in the last race and now leads rival Lewis Hamilton by 12 points. The two had a hard fought battle in Austin, where it came down to the wire as Verstappen narrowly led the final lap. Hamilton topped the podium last time out in Mexico, with Verstappen coming behind teammate Alex Albon in sixth.
All eyes will be on Sergio Perez this weekend as he returns to his home country. Checo will be looking to get back on the podium after a solid race in the US Grand Prix. Red bull only trail Mercedes by 23 points in the constructor’s championship, so Christian Horner will want to see both Bulls on the podium on Sunday.
After an average race last time out in Austin, Valtteri Bottas will certainly be looking to improve this week as Mercedes look to maintain their lead over Red Bull in the constructors championship. However, the Mercedes car has been known to struggle in Mexico due to the heat as it reduces the amount of downforce on the car.
Daniel Ricciardo put in a solid performance last time around, finishing in fifth. The Australian has had plenty of experience at this track which may prove to make all the difference on Sunday. Ricciardo’s teammate, Lando Norris has struggled since his podium in Monza, finishing middle of the pack in the last three races. Despite this, McLaren have proven in recent months that they are real challengers for third in the championship.
Ferrari have been looking stronger with each race this year, as the pairing of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz looks to be one of the strongest on the grid. Leclerc has come agonisingly close to the podium a number of times throughout the year so far, so Mexico could be his chance to get an improvement on P4.
Alpine were forced to retire each of their cars in Austin as Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso both had issues with the rear of their vehicles. It was not specified exactly what the problem was, but if it was anything to do with the Texas heat that the drivers had to battle through, the team may face similar issues in Mexico.
AlphaTauri did not have a good race either, with Pierre Gasly forced to retire due to a suspension issue and Yuki Tsunoda finishing on two points. Red Bull’s sister team may find themselves facing problems again this weekend with the challenging conditions of the track.
Sebastian Vettel has been very consistent in his Mexican GP results, finishing in the top four for the last three years. He came second the last time Formula One took to Mexico so he will have some confidence going into the weekend. Fellow Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll hasn’t put in many strong performances this year, so may struggle come Saturday and Sunday.
Williams have found it difficult in recent years at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and it looks like this year will be no different. The British team have only gained three points in the last five races – all coming from George Russell. The speed and power of the car has not been enough to keep up with the other teams on the grid.
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen came third in both 2017 and 2018 in Mexico, but failed to finish the 2019 race. His experience could really prove to be beneficial when it comes to getting points. However, both Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have fallen just outside of the top 10 in the last few Grand Prix so it will be a tough challenge to move up the grid.
Haas still have yet to gain a single point this year. Neither Nikita Mazepin nor Mick Schumacher have competed at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez so will be at a huge disadvantage compared to other teams.
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