Everything you need to know about the Mexico City Grand Prix

Published on
27 Oct 2022
Est. reading time
6 Min

Your ultimate guide to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

A high-altitude blast around the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez for the 2022 Mexico City Grand Prix forms part two of Formula One's North American double-header.
The Grand Prix has been massively popular since reappearing on the F1 calendar in 2015, with the 26,000-capacity baseball stadium packed out every year to cheer on the drivers – and create a podium celebration like no other.
As we prepare for another trip to the sprawling capital, here's everything you need to know about the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Track Facts

Although the circuit has gone by different names and raced on several layouts, every F1 race in Mexico has taken place on the grounds of the Magdalena Mixhuca park. Course alterations for safety improvements now give us the 4.304km track we've raced on since 2015.
Fundamentally, the Magdalena Mixhuca circuit, as it was initially named, and today's Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez are very similar. The two high-speed straights that make up the first sector are mostly the same, with a more technical final half making up sectors two and three.
The first championship race came in 1963, and F1 would continue visiting until 1970, when Mexico's motorsport appetite dropped in the wake of hometown hero Pedro Rodríguez's death.
A 1986 return came with some changes, particularly at the frighteningly fast – and unsafe – final Peraltada corner. The return coincided with a renamed track in honour of Pedro Rodríguez and his brother Ricardo, who also raced in F1 but sadly died at Peraltada in the 1962 non-championship race.
However, the poor track surface and heavy air pollution meant the renamed track hosted only seven races before F1 took another break after 1992.
The intimidating and impressive 'Foro Sol' stadium came in the wake of the sport leaving, first holding music concerts before being used for baseball, and became the unlikely answer to slow down the final corner further when F1 returned in 2015.

What are the drivers saying?

Alex hasn't raced in Mexico since his P5 finish in his 2019 rookie season, so he is looking forward to having another trip to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
“We've come off a pretty good weekend in Austin, so hopefully we can bring some of this into Mexico,” the Thai racer shared, continuing: “On paper, the track should suit our car, however it's quite a unique circuit being high altitude with the downforce level quite high but the actual downforce on track is very low, so the car does slide around a lot.
“I'm excited to go back after a few years so let's see what we can do over the weekend.”
The 2022 Mexico City Grand Prix represents the start of Nicky's final three races with Williams, and he's looking to maximise everything in his last weekends with the team.
Our No6 shared: “Mexico is always a unique event due to the altitude that we race at.
“The altitude creates a completely different feeling to the car unlike any other track we experience on the calendar.
“It’s quite the challenge with the air being so much thinner as it changes how the car handles with a lot less grip and the race is more physically demanding.
“The atmosphere last year was incredible especially through the stadium section of the track so I can’t wait to experience that again. I’m looking forward to getting out there and hopefully having a strong weekend.“
Logan Sargeant will be back behind the wheel once more in Friday’s FP1 session, hopping in Alex’s FW44 for the hour-long session.
The 21-year-old American is certainly relishing the chance to return the cockpit so soon after his last stint, saying: “I’m excited to be getting back in the car for FP1 in Mexico and building on the progress I made in Austin.
“My first session gave me a chance to reference the driveability of the car, the way it handles and how it feels on the brakes.
“All these learnings will help me to visualise everything and make the necessary changes before I go into my second FP1 session.
“Being able to have the experience of driving an F1 car at high altitude will be beneficial to my development.
“I’m looking forward to working with Alex’s side of the garage this weekend and providing the team with feedback to help their race preparations.”
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From the Pit Wall

Getting the setup right for the mid and high-speed corners in the circuit's latter half while not losing speed for the first sector's straights is as challenging as the thin high-altitude air is for the power unit.
Our Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson, looks ahead to Mexico City:
“The Grand Prix in Austin was a productive and enjoyable weekend and although it was frustrating not to score some points, we were pleased that we were able to get ourselves into a good position on Sunday, especially given that both drivers flat-spotted their tyres early in the first stints.
“The format of the weekend in Mexico is very similar to last weekend with Logan driving again in FP1 – this time in Alex’s car – and the race drivers completing tyre testing for Pirelli during FP2.
“The car setup will be similar to last weekend, but we will need to pay attention to the effect of the altitude on brake and PU cooling.
“With only three events remaining this season, the FW44 upgrade cycle is mostly complete and our focus is on maximising the package that we have and checking some of the big setup decisions that we made earlier in the season.
“This will give us some useful information on how the FW44 has evolved aerodynamically and will provide some useful correlation data for setup concepts that we may choose to carry forwards to FW45.
“Having done a very good job in Austin, Logan gets another chance to experience an FP1 session. This will give him valuable experience of an F1 car at altitude, specifically the low drag and downforce as well as the additional care needed with the brakes and PU.
“He will again play a pivotal role in completing the engineering work during FP1 and he will also get the opportunity to work with the engineer and mechanic team on Alex’s side of the garage.
“We look forward to working with him again and using his input to help us tackle the demanding job of racing at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.”
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Did you know?

Although the race has historically held the title of the Mexican Grand Prix, the race became the Mexico City Grand Prix in 2021, although the 2020 race was also set to be renamed before its pandemic-forced cancellation.
The first stint of F1 racing in Mexico came before Sir Frank Williams founded the team. However, we made our mark in the seven-year run over the 80s and 90s when Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese took wins in 1987, 1991 and 1992.
Nigel’s victories and his phenomenal Peraltada last-lap overtake for P2 in 1990 had the circuit name the reprofiled final corner in his honour when Formula One came back in 2015.
We continued our silverware-winning ways when Mexico returned to the calendar when Valtteri Bottas improved from a P6 start to clinch P3 in the FW37 in the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix.
If you're heading to the race this weekend, you're in for a great time. The FIA has awarded the Race Promoters' Trophy to Mexico every year they've held the awards since the Grand Prix resumed hosting duties.
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