F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Mexico GP a Must Win for Vettel
Since returning to the F1 line up in Y 2015, the Mexican Grand Prix has established itself as 1 of the highlight races of the season.
This weekend is likely to see festivities reach new heights as Lewis Hamilton race to be crowned F1 world champion for a 4th time, needing only a Top 5 finish to reclaim the crown he lost to former team-mate Nico Rosberg in Y 2016.
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) rival Sebastian Vettel knows he must win all of the final 3 races to stand any chance of denying Mr. Hamilton a 4th crown.
Sunday’s race in Mexico City will be 1 that goes down in F1 history should MercedesAMG’s Hamilton win.
Below are the Key talking points heading into the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend, as follows:
How will Hamilton be crowned F1 champion?
Lewis Hamilton’s 66-point advantage means the Question is when, not if, he will be crowned world champion for a 4th time and become the most successful British driver in F1 history.
A Top 5 finish will do the job for Mr. Hamilton at any of the final 3 races, but his recent form suggests it will be in Mexico on Sunday, thought the Mexico City circuit is not really suitable for his F1 race.
The unique nature of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez being some 2,200 mtrs above sea level means teams can run high-downforce setups with big wings, theoretically playing into the hands of both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.
If MercedesAMG were 3rd-fastest team in Mexico, you could count on Mr. Hamilton to be the leading driver to cross the line in 5th behind the pairs of Ferraris and Red Bulls ahead.
Mr. Hamilton is not one to seal the deal by doing just enough, he will want to win this title heads up.
Ferrari and Red Bull Racing look for late-season success
The titles may have been pretty much settled, but there are still 75 points and 3 race wins available before the end of this Y 2017 season, giving Ferrari and Red Bull the chance to finish on a high and take the fight to MercedesAMG up front.
All 3 of the remaining circuits hold possibilities for the chasing teams, with the high-down-force requirements for Mexico and Abu Dhabi, in particular, playing to the Ferrari’s strengths.
Malaysia proved that both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing are capable of getting an edge over MercedesAMG on merit, even if we were robbed of a straight fight between Red Bull and Ferrari at Sepang due to the latter’s reliability issues.
Now next years battle between the Top Teams to complete the podium, the 3 will likely be going toe-to-toe for the Top Step.
This year’s Mexican Grand Prix may be signifcant for F1 in terms of the title race, but it holds a far greater meaning for the people of Mexico City, coming just over one month since the devastating earthquake that claimed 370 lives and levelled a number of buildings.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was unharmed by the earthquake, meaning the race could go ahead as planned, and it will be a sign of strength from Mexico City as over 300,000 fans pack out the grandstands.
Sergio Perez will be flying the flag on home soil once again, having enjoyed another strong year with Force India through Y 2017, and fans attending the race will dare to dream of a popular podium finish in a nation with a rich motorsport history.
NBCSN’s Will Buxton and Jason Swales headed to Mexico City earlier this year to get a flavor of the city and explore the nation’s racing heart. You can watch the film they produced here.
2017 Mexican Grand Prix – Facts and Figures
Track: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Lap Record: Nico Rosberg 1:20.521 (2015)
Tire Compounds: Ultra-Soft/Super-Soft/Soft
2016 Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2016 Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:18.704
2016 Fastest Lap: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:21.134
DRS Zones: T17 to T1, T3 to T4
2017 Mexican Grand Prix – TV/Stream Times
|NYSE:RACE||115.07||26 October 2017||0.35||115.31||115.47||114.67||254,300|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.29)||Bullish (0.47)||Bullish (0.27)||Neutral (0.12)|