2021 Mexico City GP: The Facts & VER/HAM Battle
For this weekend's Formula One race teams and fans will be heading over to Mexico to start a triple header - exciting stuff!
The track, known as the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez, seats approximately 40,000 fans and is one of the highest tracks of the season being a whopping 2,285 metres above sea level. To put this in to perspective, the last race of this season at Abu Dhabi has a track that is just 1 meter above sea level!
What does that mean for the drivers?
The higher the sea level, the less dense the air, which means the downforce level is significantly lower than what most drivers are used to at tracks such as Monza, for example. Drivers and teams will be put to the test to ensure the car stays cool and power units are being pushed to the limits.
Furthermore, due to the small amount of time between the previous US GP and this one, drivers have very little time to be able to acclimatise to a track that has less oxygen levels. This means they'll be putting in more effort but for the same results, which will definitely take its toll.
With this Grand Prix taking us into the last six weeks of the 2021 season and just 12 points between leaders Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in the Drivers' Championship, it's becoming an intense battle indeed.
"It's session by session, race by race." - Christian Horner to Sky F1 when speaking about the fight for first against Mercedes.
Mexico has proven to be a place that Red Bull are more than comfortable racing at, with Verstappen having the only double consecutive win there since Jim Clark in '62 and '63. Red Bull appear to have a car package more suited to the high altitude of the track while Mercedes' car may struggle due to their ongoing power unit issues.
Mercedes' driver Valterri Bottas however, is hopeful he can take part in the Mexico City GP with no engine penalties this time, a recurring theme throughout the last few races.
"Mexico was traditionally a track that was difficult for us but this season everything can change," stated Mercedes' team principal, Toto Wolff.
"Whilst you are in a championship that is hard, the history has no relevance." Wolff added.
Toto Wolff may be correct here, as the US GP has shown us, Hamilton's consecutive wins there were put to a stop with Verstappen coming in P1 after a long, strategic battle.
Once again, it's up in the air between Hamilton and Verstappen. Who are you rooting for?