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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Formula 1: The 2023 Mexican Grand Prix

Formula 1: The 2023 Mexican Grand Prix

Publish Date: 10/26/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
All eyes on Checo Perez this weekend as he aims to finally reach the top step of the podium for his home GP!

The Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix, a dazzling jewel in the motorsport calendar, promises to deliver another exhilarating spectacle in the heart of Mexico City. This eagerly anticipated race has a rich history of captivating audiences with its high-speed drama and vibrant atmosphere.

Just a stone’s throw from the thrilling race we had in Austin last weekend, where Lewis Hamilton chased down Max Verstappen in the closing stages of the race, the Mexican Grand Prix is set to continue the intensity of the 2023 Formula 1 season. This remarkable circuit, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, provides a unique challenge for drivers, with its high-altitude location and captivating mix of straights and twists, making for an unpredictable and electrifying race.

Fans from all over the world will converge upon this vibrant city to witness the world’s fastest drivers tackle the thin air and tricky corners. With the championship battle still raging, the Mexican Grand Prix promises to be a pivotal moment in the quest for the runners up and third place finishers in the World Championships.

Austin and the Controversial Plank Technicality 

The race last Sunday at Circuit of the Americas was a real nail-biter. It all started with Lando Norris leading the pack, but then Lewis Hamilton charged his way to the front, only to be overtaken by Max Verstappen later on. Hamilton’s last-ditch effort to catch up in the closing laps was pure brilliance, but he didn’t even get the 18 points for second place due to a technical violation.

The shocker came when both Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, who was initially ranked sixth, got the boot from the race results. The reason? Their cars had too much wear on the plank beneath them, and these wooden ‘skid plates’ are designed to measure the ride height in a Formula 1 car. After some inspections, the stewards found them in violation of the regulations.

Checking these complex machines takes time, and it meant that many fans had already left the circuit hours before the final outcome was determined. This is likely to spark discussions among team members about how post-race checks are handled. The FIA’s random selection of cars for inspection aims to keep teams from pushing the limits too far, but it backfired as two out of the four cars checked on Sunday night failed the same test.

There’s no easy fix, but you can bet there’ll be plenty of opinions about what could be done differently in the future.

Perez’s Home Race

Having a home advantage in Formula 1 doesn’t come any better for Sergio Perez, but it also comes with a hefty dose of pressure. The Mexican is an absolute superstar, and his fan support in Texas last weekend was nothing short of electric, with his name regularly chanted from the grandstands. However, it’s been a bit of a rocky road for Perez in the latter part of the season. He hasn’t tasted victory since his triumph in Azerbaijan, which feels like ages ago.

In Austin, he had a solid run, eventually picking up valuable points with a fourth-place finish on Sunday, following a fifth place in the Sprint. It was a step in the right direction, giving him some much-needed momentum as he gears up for his home race.

With Red Bull still the team to chase, they’re hoping that the high altitude in Mexico City won’t shuffle the pecking order too much. This could be Perez’s chance to shine and build on his past success with two third-place finishes here. And if he were to secure a win, you can bet the crowd, and the whole of Mexico would erupt in celebration. ¡Vamos Checo!

Can Aston Martin Lash Out Again?

McLaren’s remarkable resurgence has made their overtaking of Aston Martin seem almost inevitable over the past few races. The struggle for Aston Martin to keep up with their rivals in terms of development has been evident.

Lando Norris, after the United States Grand Prix, candidly remarked that it seemed like Aston Martin had been making their car slower with every upgrade they introduced. However, he might not have been aware of the progress made by Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll during that very race.

Starting from the pit lane, both Alonso and Stroll made substantial gains as Aston Martin experimented with different setups and specifications. Unfortunately, Alonso had to retire, but Stroll managed to cross the finish line in ninth place, later elevated to seventh due to post-race disqualifications. This performance hinted at potential in their recent developments.

While McLaren has now moved ahead of Aston Martin in the standings, the gap is a mere six points. With both Stroll and Alonso showing promise in Austin, the situation remains volatile this late in the season. McLaren aims to close the gap to Ferrari, but a strong weekend for Aston Martin and a weaker one for their rivals could quickly flip the script.

Rookie Trails

Sargeant’s return to Mexico City for FP1 this year marks an exciting development in his journey towards securing a race seat. Joining him in the opening session are four other rookies, as per the season’s requirement for each team to give track time to emerging talents.

Mercedes will introduce Danish F2 driver Frederik Vesti to the world of modern F1 machinery, granting him his FP1 debut. He steps into George Russell’s car for this opportunity.

Alpine welcomes back Jack Doohan, who had a taste of F1 action here last year and now gets another shot. Over at AlphaTauri, Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar makes his debut in an F1 session, while Ollie Bearman will also have his first taste of an F1 weekend when he takes the wheel for Haas.

Bearman, affiliated with the Ferrari Driver Academy, might have his sights set on a reserve role with Haas, particularly in light of the news that Pietro Fittipaldi will be racing in IndyCar next season. These FP1 outings carry significant weight for these budding drivers, offering them valuable opportunities to prove their worth in the highly competitive world of Formula 1.

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