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Race information - Mexico 2017 // Could the stadium track host the title deciding race?

Published by Christine

We thought it could happen in the US, but this weekend in Mexico could very well see the 2017 championship wrapped up. Mercedes have already earned the constructor's trophy, but the battle between Hamilton and Vettel continues. Mexico is still a relatively new track on the calendar, but has a good reputation and has been popular in its two previous outings. Hopefully this weekend will see a good race at the track - whether or not the title is decided.

Event schedule

Sebastian Vettel managed to keep his claws in the championship battle last weekend in Austin, but seven days later he will have to do it all again. Lewis Hamilton needs nine points to secure the title outright, so if he finishes in the top five, it doesn't matter what Vettel does. Stranger things have happened, but the odds are firmly in the Mercedes driver's favour for a fourth title to add to his collection.

Meanwhile, there are still intriguing things happening in the midfield. Romain Grosjean caused a stir last weekend by writing "I'm not moaning" on his helmet in response to the memes, but then being told off quite volubly by the team during the final lap. There's an ongoing battle between Haas and Renault, with the US team demoted 8th in the standings by Renault last weekend. Can they regain their position in Mexico?

Also, Pierre Gasly returns to the car in place of Daniil Kvyat, giving Toro Rosso a very young and inexperienced lineup for the third to last race. Williams have said they aren't going to rush to make any driver decisions, putting pressure on their drivers not to make any silly mistakes in their last few appearances.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
27 OctFridayFree Practice 116:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT -05:00
Free Practice 220:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT -05:00
28 OctSaturdayFree Practice 316:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT -05:00
Qualifying19:00
GMT +01:00
13:00
GMT -05:00
29 OctSundayGrand Prix19:00
GMT +00:00
13:00
GMT -06:00

Support racing for this event includes Formula 4 Series, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and Masters Historic Racing.

Expected conditions

The weather in Mexico can be quite changeable and we've seen rain at various points this year when we haven't expected it, but so far the forecast suggests calm and dry conditions. Friday is set to be nice and sunny to allow plenty of practice for drivers, and then it's predicted to cloud over a little as the weekend progresses. So far, though, no talk of rain.

Sunny

Mexico City, Friday

24℃

  • Low 9℃
  • Humidity 32%

Sunny

Partly cloudy

Mexico City, Saturday

22℃

  • Low 11℃
  • Humidity 48%

Partly cloudy

Overcast

Mexico City, Sunday

22℃

  • Low 12℃
  • Humidity 46%

Overcast

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitAutódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
LocationMexico City
CountryMexico
TimezoneGMT -05:00
Race debut1986
Laps71
Length4.304 km
Distance305.354 km
Line offset0.230 km

This is the 18th running of the Mexican Grand Prix, but only the third on the current iteration of the track, which returned to the calendar in 2015. Tweaks to the track ahead of this season's race include paving over some of the grass verges, improving the kerbing, moving back the wall at turn 4, and installing more tyre barriers at various points around the track.

The high altitude of the track can affect the components in the car, particularly the performance of downforce in the low atmosphere. At this point in the season, we're seeing a lot of long-life components giving up, so grid penalties are almost inevitable.

Three drivers will be making their Mexico debut, with Stroll, Vandoorne and Gasly all new to the track. Hartley has previous experience at the circuit but only in a sportscar, so the F1 race will still be a challenge for the New Zealander. Mercedes have been absolutely dominant at the track for the past two races, taking a 1-2 finish in both qualifying and the race in 2015 and 2016. The pole sitter has converted the top grid slot into race victory on both occasions.

Results for the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:20.914
Free Practice 2Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:19.790
Free Practice 3Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:19.137
QualifyingLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:18.704
Grand PrixLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:40:31.402
Fastest lapDaniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:21.134

Tyre compounds

Mexico offers another set of challenges as the season twists and turns its way to a finale. The track is quite smooth, so tyre wear isn't as big an issue as it is at other tracks, but the fast corners and technical trickery towards the end of the lap can be hard on the tyres. It's also worth noting that the pit lane is the longest on the calendar, so it may affect team decisions when it comes to picking one or two stop strategies.

Head of racing at Pirelli, Mario Isola, has the following insight: "This is actually the second consecutive year that we are bringing a new tyre to Mexico, as last year the supersoft was nominated there for the first time. Only two races have been run on the current version of the track before, so it's not one of the venues that the teams are most familiar with. This means that there will be some learning to do with the ultrasoft in particular during free practice."

Selected tyre sets per driver
Soft tyreSupersoft tyreUltrasoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton139
Valtteri Bottas229
Daniel Ricciardo346
Max Verstappen346
Sebastian Vettel157
Kimi Räikkönen247
Sergio Pérez229
Esteban Ocon1210
Felipe Massa2110
Lance Stroll1210
Fernando Alonso2110
Stoffel Vandoorne1210
Pierre Gasly1210
Brendon Hartley1210
Romain Grosjean238
Kevin Magnussen148
Nico Hülkenberg1210
Carlos Sainz1210
Pascal Wehrlein238
Marcus Ericsson238

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayAttendeeRepresenting
ThursdayValtteri BottasMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso
Sergio PérezSahara Force India F1 Team
Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing
Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari
Pascal WehrleinSauber F1 Team
FridayCyril AbiteboulRenault Sport F1 Team
Maurizio ArrivabeneScuderia Ferrari
Christian HornerRed Bull Racing
Franz TostScuderia Toro Rosso
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
NamePosition
Gerd EnnserMember of the DSMB's Executive Committee for Automobile Sport, and a Formula One and DTM steward.
Felipe GiaffoneAfter experience of motorsport racing in both his home country of Brazil as well as the stock car racing of the USA, Felipe Giaffone turned his attention to broadcasting and stewarding. In 2016, he became and FIA steward of the World Touring Car Championship, as well as making his debut as an F1 steward at Spa.
Tom KristensenEight times Le Mans winner, German F3 Champion, Japanese F3 Champion and ALMS Champion.

All content in the series Mexico 2017