Having wrapped up his third world title in the United States last weekend, Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton will be able to enjoy his visit to Mexico City for the first Formula One Grand Prix in the country for 23 years.
Although the title is secure for the Brit, he’ll be hoping to get another win on the board in what’ll be an historic race on Sunday. Team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be doing their utmost to prevent another Hamilton victory, as they continue their battle to finish second in the overall standings.
Indeed, there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding this race at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. Here are the key viewing details for the race, the drivers set to take part and a look at some of the key storylines in Mexico this weekend.
|Mexican Grand Prix: Drivers|
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||Nico Rosberg|
|Red Bull||Daniel Ricciardo||Daniil Kvyat|
|Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Lotus||Pastor Maldonado||Romain Grosjean|
|McLaren||Fernando Alonso||Jenson Button|
|Force India||Nico Hulkenberg||Sergio Perez|
|Sauber||Marcus Ericsson||Felipe Nasr|
|Toro Rosso||Max Verstappen||Carlos Sainz Jr.|
|Williams||Valtteri Bottas||Felipe Massa|
|Manor||Will Stevens||Alexander Rossi|
Race starts at 7 p.m. (GMT), 2 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 1
Race will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 (UK) and NBC Sports (US).
Formula One Back in Mexico After 23 Years
Nigel Mansell was the last driver to win a Mexican Grand Prix, taking victory in 1992 in his Williams on the way to the world title. His compatriot Hamilton, now a treble world champion, will be seeking to secure a similar feat when the lights go out in Mexico City on Sunday.
It’ll be intriguing to see how being the champion will affect his performance. His previous two triumphs have come on the final day of the season, meaning the Mercedes man can really enjoy these final three races in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
As the world champion shared on social media this week, he’s been immersing himself in the local culture ahead of the big race on Sunday:
Still, there will be a burning desire to win, especially at the expense of Rosberg. The two team-mates shared an awkward moment in the aftermath of the United States Grand Prix, with the German suggesting afterwards that Hamilton had been too aggressive into the opening turn, nudging Rosberg out of first place.
Now Nico must turn his attentions into securing second position, which he relinquished to Vettel in Russia. The Formula One Twitter feed reminded us of the other spots drivers are still competing for as we head into the final three races of the season:
Finishing second would be a brilliant achievement for Vettel. While the four-time world champion is someone renowned for winning these titles, in a Ferrari that isn’t quite up to the same standards as the Mercedes, he’ll be delighted to be ahead of Rosberg in the standings with three wins secured already this year.
Vettel admitted that holding off his compatriot is his “primary target” in the final three races of the year, per Sky Sports. He also spoke about the unique challenges this circuit is likely to pose for the drivers involved.
“The track looks very interesting, especially the fact that the altitude is playing a big role,” added Vettel. “Looking at the downforce levels of the cars and the drag levels, it should be an interesting experience. I'm looking forward to getting out and feeling the track for the first time.”
As we can see here courtesy of the Formula One Twitter feed, despite not having a machine as competitive as the Mercedes, Vettel has been very reliable throughout the year:
The grand prix will be one that holds extra special significance for Sergio Perez. The Force India man looks set to be roared on by a crowd of around 100,000 for Sunday's race, and after outshining team-mate Nico Hulkenberg throughout 2015, he will want to get close to a spot on the podium come the end of the race.
It’s tough to make a rounded prediction given none of the drivers have race experience at this circuit, meaning the practice sessions and qualifying will be key. But given the edge he’s had on the rest of the field so far this season, with a whopping 10 race victories, it’s tough to look past another Hamilton win.
The occasion is certainly one the Mercedes man will enjoy, as he seeks to become the first winner at this circuit in 23 years. Expect Rosberg, galvanised by the disappointment of last week, to make his way onto the second step of the rostrum, with Vettel staying in the hunt for second spot with a third-place finish.
Prediction: 1. Hamilton, 2. Rosberg, 3. Vettel