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F1 Mexican Grand Prix Is Up Next, Leclerc Barely Ahead of Perez in the Standings

I have never done a lap of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez before, so today, I downloaded the map for Assetto Corsa and gave it a go. It feels quite technical and similar to Monza at times. Red Bull Racing have clinched the Constructors' Title and Drivers' Title for 2022, and they are aiming to get Perez into P2 by the end of the year. But Ferrari's Charles Leclerc still has something to say about that.
F1 Mexico City Grand Prix Is Up Next, Leclerc Is Barely Ahead of Perez 28 photos
Photo: Ferrari
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The Mexican Grand Prix has been part of the Formula 1 calendar since 1963. British driver Jim Clark took the win that year for Lotus-Climax. It has been a long time since a driver from the USA won an F1 event, but that was the case for both 1964 and 1965 thanks to Dan Gurney and Richie Ginther.

Ferrari's Jacky Ickx climbed to the highest spot on the podium in 1970, and F1 would not return to Mexico until 1986. After seven more races, another long hiatus would follow.

The track layout was modified for the return of the series in 2015. And drivers have been going back to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez every year since that moment, except in 2020. Shockingly enough, Ferrari's last victory in Mexico was recorded by Alain Prost back in 1990!

Sebastian Vettel was the last driver to score a podium for the Italian team at this venue in 2019 when he finished P2 behind Lewis Hamilton. He had achieved the same result in 2018, and Kimmi Raikkonen made it a double podium for the Scuderia crossing the finish line in P3 just as he did in 2017.

F1 Mexico City Grand Prix 2021
Photo: Ferrari
Max Verstappen is already the most successful driver to have raced the Mexican Grand Prix if you don't consider Jim Clark's 1962 non-World Championship success. Max scored his third F1 victory in Mexico back in 2017 and repeated the result in 2018 and 2021.

The only driver that can hope the match his performance this weekend is Lewis Hamilton, who won the 2016 and 2019 GPs. It's also interesting to note that Mclaren, Williams, Mercedes, and Red Bull are all tied with three victories each, while Ferrari has only recorded two so far.

This is going to be a big weekend for Sergio Perez as he will be racing in front of his home crowd, all while fighting with Charles Leclerc for P2 in the championship. The Mexican driver has yet to win a race here, but he did come close to that performance in 2021 when he finished P3 behind Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz has had his ups and downs this season, having retired from several races so far. The most recent incident with George Russell at COTA sparked a lot of heated discussions, as the Spanish driver is now 16 points behind his main rival.

F1 Mexico City Grand Prix 2021
Photo: Daimler AG
He is currently caught in the middle by both Mercedes drivers and could lose his position in Mexico if Hamilton finishes the race ahead of him. At this point, Mercedes is still hoping to get P2 behind Red Bull Racing by the end of the year, even though they are 53 points behind Ferrari.

With two practice sessions scheduled for Friday and the third one for Saturday, drivers will have to go through qualifying on the second day of the event. As always, the race is live on Sunday and should go on for a total of 71 laps. That brings the racing distance up to 189.738 miles (305.354 km), as the track is 2.674 miles (4.304 km) long.

Valtteri Bottas set the lap record in 2021 at 1:17.774, but he went even faster in qualifying at 1:15.875. We'll leave you to a virtual lap of the Mexico City Grand Prix layout, which should open up your appetite for the race on Sunday.

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About the author: Dragos Chitulescu
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The things Dragos enjoys the most in life are, in no particular order: cars, motorcycles, diecast cars, and drifting. He's seen (and driven) many vehicles since he started his writing career back in 2009, but his garage currently houses a 1991 Mazda RX-7 FC3S Turbo II and a 1999 Suzuki SV650-S.
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