Five things to know ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix

Published on
25 Oct 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

Five key facts as Formula 1 heads to Mexico for the second of a triple-header across the Americas

What a start to the triple header — double points for the team! But we only have a single week between races, and the Mexico City GP is already here.
The thin air, stadium section, and long pit straight made an immediate impact upon the country's F1 return in 2015, and we're thrilled to be back again.
Whether you remember the original Mexico City races from the 1960s, joined the fun in the 2010s, or are gearing up for your first on Sunday, here are five things to know ahead of this weekend.

Less air, less fuel

The high altitude we race at around Mexico's capital city creates some unique challenges – but also yields some benefits over the weekend.
With the reduced drag, thanks to the thin air, fuel consumption isn't as much of a concern for the teams as it is at other races.
The air's thinness, combined with the DRS usage down the 1.2 km main straight in practice and qualifying, means the engine doesn't have to push against as much aerodynamic drag to achieve top speeds.

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Grandstand finale

Most races see fans who bought tickets to the grandstand opposite the pit lane getting the best seats for post-race celebrations.
That's not the case in Mexico City, with the podium not featuring above the pit lane as you'd expect.
Instead, the converted baseball stadium, Foro Sol, turns into party central after the chequered flag, letting fans watch the top three receive their trophies in rockstar style.
The track has had DJs starting their sets next to the top three, the car rising up to the podium, and champions crowned in its past... What might 2023 bring?

A city to die for

While many countries will be putting up their Halloween decorations this weekend, it's a different kind of spookiness in Mexico City.
Mexico celebrates el Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, annually across November 1 and 2, but the festivities spread beyond those dates.
A parade, which formed the inspiration for the opening scene of James Bond's Spectre, happens on Saturday, transforming a route to Centro into a festival for attendees.
If you're in the city this weekend but aren't heading to Magdalena Mixhuca for qualifying, be sure to find a spot for the parade.
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City slickers

Williams Racing have good form at the Mexican Grand Prix, taking three wins over the years, the joint-second highest of all constructors.
Our trio of triumphs span six races between 1987 and 1992, with Nigel Mansell's two victories sandwiching Riccardo Patrese's 1991 win.
The most recent 1992 win was also a Williams Racing 1-2, as our Nige led from lights to flag, beating out Riccardo by 12 seconds, who, in turn, crossed the line 8.5 seconds ahead of Michael Schumacher.
Nigel's win was the second of his incredible nine that season on the way to his Drivers' World Championship crown and one of six Williams Racing 1-2 finishes that year.

The edge of safety

Mexico's first Formula 1 hiatus followed a turbulent 1970 race when a crowd of 200,000 fans stormed the circuit, bypassing the fencing and sitting in front of the guard rails.
Pedro Rodríguez, the Mexican driver many came to watch race, along with Jackie Stewart, pleaded with fans to keep in control after children ran across the track ahead of the race.
Although teams and drivers had reservations about racing with such conditions, the grand prix went ahead for the 65-lap distance.
Fortunately, there were no injuries for attending fans in spite of Stewart's car hitting a stray dog halfway through the race and the Scotsman narrowly avoiding driving into the onlookers with broken suspension.
Formula 1 dropped the track in the aftermath of the problems and wouldn't return until 1986.
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