After what was a spectacle of a race in Austin where we saw Mercedes coming as close as ever to a win, we now head down the road to cross the border to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez for the Mexican Grand Prix. The Mexican Grand Prix is a different beast entirely when compared to COTA. For one, it’s located at more than 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) above sea level which starves cars from air and affects performance. It’s also a faster track with a shorter lap time although it still features a very heavy braking zone and some slow speed corners. All this should be troublesome for Red Bull and although they have now claimed both championships all eyes are on their driver and local hero, Sergio Perez. Make sure you compare all the odds before placing any bets with our F1 Betting Odds Comparison Page
Now that both championships have been decided in a very dominant manner by Red Bull, I’m pretty sure that everyone will be rooting for the home favorite, Checo Perez. That will surely be the cherry on the cake for Red Bull to have both their drivers with their home Grand Prix’s, and things are looking good for him. He has with a doubt the best car, he has the backing of his home crowd, he finished on the podium here last season which made the crowd go wild, and he’s now a multiple Grand Prix winner so it all seems to be set in stone, right? Possibly, whilst I will most certainly be rooting for him and really do wish him all the best for his home race there are some technicalities which can come into play. First of all the pressure. Surely Checo wants to do well and perform in front of his home crowd to take the top step on the podium and to his defence he’s been relatively calm this season. But that can all change the moment he now knows it’s his for the taking and it’s how well the driver is able to absorb that pressure and turn into something positive to help them perform. Most athletes do this without even noticing, it’s natural for them but there can be some instances where they can slip. Charles Leclerc can tell us all about that..
It’s very hard to draw a fine line between having a great season and not. On paper, the Monegasque has had his best season to date but deep down he’s surely not satisfied with it, you can see it in his eyes and his body language on the podium and in the cool down room. He’s annoyed with himself and would rather this season be over so he can reset. Having said that, he could use a win to give himself a bit of a boost. He’s been on five consecutive podiums and his last win was back in Austria. He’s also gone from Championship contender to runners-up contender and that must hurt. His runner-up contender? Checo Perez. To Leclerc’s advantage though, he has a fantastic car which handles the slow speed and medium speed corners better than the Red Bull. It’s also proved to be faster over a single lap on multiple occasions. I predict he’ll take the pole on Saturday for qualifying, possibly the win on Sunday if he can keep his spirits high and if Ferrari can give him a decent race set-up, which of course we know they can. Charles has another problem though in his team mate, Carlos Sainz. The Spanish driver’s USGP race lasted only one corner, if that. He’s also looking to get some momentum back before we pack up for next season so watch out for the Spaniard. Whoever you’re rooting for this weekend be sure to check out the Best F1 Betting Sites before placing any bets!
After a spectacular driver from Lewis Hamilton at COTA I’m sure he’ll be buzzing and taking in all that momentum to carry forward in Mexico. If Ferrari slip however, Mercedes might look ahead in the long term to potentially secure second place in the constructors championship. This is still very possible as the silver arrows have closed the gap to just 53 points, sitting in third just behind Ferrari. Whilst they do need Ferrari to screw up at least one race for this to turn into reality it’s still possible and what a comeback that would be. Second place in the constructors might just go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has already said that their next best chance of winning a Grand Prix would be in Brazil and I agree. The track at Interlagos is better suited to Mercedes. Meanwhile here at the Mexican Grand Prix we can expect Mercedes to clinch a podium or two unless their performance declines greatly due to the nature of the track and the altitude. They’re on the rise again and I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to making a greater comeback next year.
If you ask me who has impressed you the most this season (apart from the obvious usual suspects) It would be Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen and recently Sebastian Vettel. As Martin Brundle put it ‘Vettel’s driving like he’s possessed!’. We’ve seen him take driver of the day twice in a row and he is the perfect example of a driver with no pressure, no commitments, the gloves are off so just drive. In recent times I’ve seen the Vettel of old times come back to life on the track, a beast to we weary of. Fernando Alonso is just something else. At the USGP after his collision with Lance Stroll, he hit the wall and limped back to the pits with two wheels, after a quick tyre and nose change he was back out, to finish 7th! Even though he was later penalized and was ultimately classified 15th, for me he drove like an absolute beast and bear in mind he’s also the eldest driver on the grid. Alonso also has the machinery to do so as Alpine’s performance is far better than Aston Martin’s and by that I mean that the Alpine is easier to set up and drive in different tracks than the Aston. Kevin Magnussen has also proved to us he’s a very capable driver with multiple point finishes this season, in a Haas! However, I’d still focus on the main contenders and also the constructors championship runners-up classifications.
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