The 2022 Formula 1 World Championship continues this weekend with round 20, the Mexican Grand Prix, taking place at Mexico City’s Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
The annual race, officially the Mexico City Grand Prix, runs on a 2.7-mile circuit that lies at an altitude of close to 7,500 feet. Thinner air density makes the engines work harder, and generating sufficient cooling and downforce are also more of a challenge. The return of ground effects this season should shake things up a bit.
The circuit has always been home to the Mexican race, although its name and layout have changed over the years. The most recent update was done prior to the Mexican Grand Prix’s return to the F1 calendar in 2015, with renowned circuit architect Herman Tilke responsible for the design tweaks.
The current layout consists of a long straight, a mixed middle sector, and a final section featuring the famous Peraltada, much modified today from its past as a parabolic corner reminiscent of the one at Monza. The layout is also noted for having the longest distance from the starting line to the braking point for the first corner, at 2,660 feet. Top speeds are among the highest of the season, with cars reaching almost 230 mph on that initial long straight.
There’s quite a lot of temperature variation during the day in Mexico, even in the space of a few hours, which affects grip levels from the tires. As was the case at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, Pirelli has nominated the middle of the range C2 as the White hard tire, C3 as the Yellow medium tire, and C4 as the Red soft tire.
The weather can be problematic, with both warm conditions and heavy rain possible. The current forecast calls for some rain during both Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race.
Going into the weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen leads with 391 points. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is second with 267 points and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez is third with 265 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull sits on 656 points, versus the 469 of Ferrari and 416 of Mercedes-Benz AMG. Last year’s winner in Mexico was Verstappen, driving for Red Bull.
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