• Chris Kato

Your A-Z Guide to the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

5 races to go as we head to the high altitudes of Mexico City for the first time in two years...

Mexico City, Mexico - Welcome to your A-Z Guide to the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix! Returning to the calendar after a two year absence, F1 heads back to the high altitudes of Mexico City in the first of a triple-header of races as we come to the end of the 2021 season. It's been some time since we've gone racing in Mexico so this video will provide you with a good refresher on what the track is like, the challenges of racing in Mexico City, and of course all the news heading into race number 18 of the season. Now let's start by looking at the track facts for the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez!

Track Facts

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez can be traced back all the way to 1959 when it was first built in Mexico City and has been on and off the F1 calendar since. It made a return to Formula 1 back in 2015 and has remained on the calendar ever since. A race track that is very flat and usually packed with passionate Mexican fans, it has become a terrific venue for the North American swing of races. The 4.3KM circuit is one of the flattest tracks on the calendar with only a 2.8 meter change over the course of the lap. It is made up of 17 corners overall, 7 that go the left and 10 that go the right. Because of the high altitude, thin air and increased cooling measures mean less downforce and less drag on the car. This requires rear wing levels similar to Monaco but despite this, the actual downforce level of the car is closer to what is experienced in Monza. Drivers will take their lap time at full throttle only 51% of the time helped by three DRS zones. The pole sitter will start Sunday's race on the left hand side of the grid with the run down to Turn 1 being 811 meters which is second longest of any track this season.

The unique high altitude challenge of Mexico City always makes things tricky for F1 cars and their teams. With low air density, the power unit suffers the most and cooling packages are pushed to the maximum to deal with these changes. Mexico City's high altitude situated 2,285 meters above sea level, is five-times the height of

the PETRONAS Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

Grand Prix History

Known for many years as the Mexican Grand Prix, the race has been renamed to the Mexico City Grand Prix as part of some recent changes to Grand Prix titles. The first championship F1 race held in Mexico was way back in 1963 so Mexico owns a pretty rich racing history itself. The most successful Constructor in Mexico City has been Mercedes and Williams who have take three victories each. Mercedes have won three out of the five Mexican Grand Prix's since its return to the calendar while Williams' last win in Mexico was back in 1992. Then come McLaren who grabbed two wins back in '88 and '89 and Red Bull Racing who have won twice here in recent times back in 2017 and 2018. It is fitting that the only two current drivers to have won at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez are Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. They both have two victories each with Verstappen taking wins back in 2017 and 2018 for Red Bull. While Lewis Hamilton is the most recent winner in Mexico, he has also enjoyed this track by clinching his 4th and 5th world championships here in 2017 and 2018. One of the keys to victory in Mexico City will be starting on pole position as 50% of race wins have come from the number one grid slot. Only 17% have been able to win from second on the grid or outside the top 3 with Alain Prost managing to win from 13th back in 1990. The chances of seeing a safety in Mexico is quite low with only a 17% safety car probability for the race on Sunday.

Grand Prix Schedule

Here you will find the local start times for each session and for some other time zones around the world.

Weekend Notes

Let's start by looking at the provisional forecast for this weekend in Mexico City.

Weather - So far, all is looking clear and good weather wise for this weekend. Temperatures are expected to stay in the low 20's all weekend long with a mix of sun and clouds and some higher winds. Let's now move onto the tyre allocation for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Tyres - The middle range of compounds will be used in Mexico with the C2, C3, and C4 tyres which are the same ones used back here in 2019. The asphalt is not very abrasive and the loads put on the tyres are not very extreme so the degradation is not as high as COTA for example. Back in 2019, a one-stop strategy was the most successful going from medium to hard with some very long stints being possible on the C2 tyre. Keep in mind the track hasn't been used much lately so it will be very 'green' and slippery to start out with.

So that will wrap us this edition of your A-Z Guide to the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix! It should be another thrilling chapter in the 2021 championship fight and with only 5 races to go, it will be must watch TV as Verstappen and Hamilton do battle once again. Be sure to drop your race predictions down in the comments below.

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