After a thrilling US Grand Prix, Formula One quickly is moving on to Mexico for the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton might of failed to wrap up the title in Austin but the task is much simpler this weekend, so will we see a repeat of 2017 as the Brit claims a second conseutive title at this track?
Circuit: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Number of Laps: 71
Race Distance: 305.354km
Tyres: Supersofts, Ultrasofts and Hypersofts
Second Championship Point
After missing out on the title in Austin, Lewis Hamilton has a second championship point with much easier permutations because of his 70 point lead going into this weekend.
With a maximum of 50 points left after this race, Hamilton can just relax as all the pressure falls on Sebastian Vettel.
The German MUST win this race to stand any chance of taking the title fight over to Brazil, as long as Hamilton is eighth or lower. A seventh placed finish or higher would be enough for the Brit to become a five-time champion if Vettel took the 25 points for victory.
Should Vettel finish second or lower, Hamilton doesn’t even have to finish the race to become champion because his lead would be unassailable.
Its therefore just a matter of when not if Hamilton will claim his fifth title.
Verstappen’s Race to Lose?
Omens could well play a part in this weekend, favouring Max Verstappen so is this his race to lose?
In June, Verstappen finished third then second at Canadian and French Grands Prix respectively before then winning in Austria. He is again in similar form after taking third at Suzuka before a stunning drive to second last weekend, making victory this weekend a real possibility.
Speaking in Red Bull’s preview pack, Verstappen believes that this circuit will “suit our car” but is more excited about being able to “hopefully get out, see some sights and taste some local dishes.”
Hopefully he can get out and find something which will provide him with extra confidence for the race, particularly if Saturday turns out to be wet as currently forecast at time of publication.
For Sergio Perez, this weekend is his home race which adds additional pressure not that it has bothered the Mexican in past with a 100% points record around here.
Mexico’s high altitude however is something which Perez views as “a big challenge” because teams will have little grip and the setup is harder to nail. Add in possibility of rain then things could get very unpredictable on Saturday.
With this being his home race, Perez knows that the “energy of the crowd” will be key motivation as Force India try to hunt down McLaren for sixth in the Constructors. That feeling is echoed by Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer who describes the atmosphere as “extra special for everybody in the team.”
Szafnauer was however keen to reiterate the “need to deliver a perfect weekend to come out on top.” so expect Force India to be focused on the task in hand as they and Perez aim to give Mexicans plenty to cheer about on Sunday.
Missed any of the first ten race weekends and want to get up to date? Click on any of the hyperlinks below to go and check out my round up of the weekend/s.