Mexican Grand Prix 2022 Preview
Although it might seem unusual to keep on racing when both the drivers’ championship (Verstappen) and constructors’ championship (Red Bull) have both been tied up, there are still second and third places to be decided!
Plus, every team and driver will be keen to test out new parts and strategies to take into next season. Mercedes and Ferrari, especially, will be trying everything they can to catch up with the rampaging Red Bull.
The next race is in Mexico, and boy, we’re already a bit jealous of the sun and tasty food everyone is going to be treated to, so why not make some tacos and listen to mariachi music while you watch the 2022 Mexican GP?
Before all that, however, we’ll just quickly recap what happened at the United States race in Austin.
It really wasn’t a surprise to see Max Verstappen pick up his 13th win of the season, considering how amazing he’s raced all year. This was a solid victory despite a rough pit stop that was far slower than anyone at Red Bull would have liked, but the win also sealed the constructors’ title for the team.
One of the biggest surprises was the much-improved driving of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, as the Brit came in second place just ahead of Leclerc. Red Bull’s Perez arrived in fourth, while George Russell finished fifth even with a five-second penalty for damaging Sainz’s car.
Venue, time, & where to watch the F1 Mexican Grand Prix
The 2022 Mexican Grand Prix will take place at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on Sunday October 30th. The track consists of 71 laps over a length of 4.304km. The lap record is 1:17.774 and is held by Valtteri Bottas in 2021. Viewers in the UK can watch the race on Sky Sports F1 at 6:30pm.
This is certainly one of the oldest F1 tracks outside Europe, as the first race dates back to 1963. Perhaps the most exciting part is the extra, extra, extra long straight in sector 1. Any team wanting to test their speed can do so with ease in Mexico.
The circuit itself is 2km above sea level, so it can be difficult for the drivers when it comes to breathing after 71 laps. Still, it’s a racetrack that has several overtaking opportunities that are sure to encourage the drivers to attempt risks throughout the race.
Major F1 talking points
Here are some of the biggest discussions before the F1 Mexican Grand Prix begins.
Verstappen looking for the wins record
Verstappen seemingly can’t be stopped any time soon, and he’s got more targets on the horizon after wrapping up the drivers’ championship: total wins in a season. No Formula One driver has won more than 13 in a season, and the Dutchman is currently tied with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. Gaining 14 wins is certainly possible and it would be quite the achievement.
There are a few more races in the F1 calendar nowadays since those other drivers picked up 13 wins, so granted, Verstappen does have more chances to get to 14. But hardly anyone will point that out if Verstappen does (more than likely) get to 14.
It can be difficult to motivate oneself to keep on pushing for wins when the championship is already decided. Verstappen could, in theory, drive around the track like he’s taking a leisurely stroll around the park, but that’s just not in his or any F1 driver’s nature.
You know he’ll want to be the driver with the most wins in a season and it’s fantastic for him (and fans) to have something to aim for and stay competitive for the remainder of the season.
Home crowd cheering on Perez
Mexican Red Bull driver Sergio Perez will have the entire crowd supporting him from the stands, which we can’t wait to see. Perez is still battling Leclerc for second place in the standings, and it would be fantastic to witness a Red Bull one-two at the end of the year.
Perez had to settle for third place in 2021, but you can bet anything that he’ll be encouraged to aim for first or at least second in this upcoming race. Perez is hugely popular not just in his home country of Mexico, so here’s a race he deserves to get on the podium.
Watch out for Mercedes
Remember when Lewis Hamilton won seven championships with Mercedes? It seems like so long ago and it’s quite inexplicable as to why the team has been so bad this season.
Well, bad at the start of the year anyway, as Mercedes has turned things around and looked more promising. The second place for Hamilton in Austin was just one step closer to a win, and while we’re not certain it’ll be in Mexico, we think Mercedes is capable of at least one victory this year.
The team introduced several car upgrades in Austin that certainly appeared to do the job, and it’s clear that Mercedes will continue to fix the car for next season. The pace and handling seem to be on target and Hamilton and Russell are as motivated as ever.
There’s something tiny still missing from previous years, and the overall form does go up and down on each track. However, Mercedes is experienced enough to handle all the changes thrown at them and 2023 is going to be one of the most exciting seasons when they’re back in the midst of winning races.
The Mercedes cars have been looking better than ever and it’ll be a treat to see how they fare next season when everything begins at zero points once again.
This is how the top 10 looks in the driver standings right now.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 391 points
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 267 points
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 265 points
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 218 points
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 202 points
6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 198 points
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) 109 points
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 79 points
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 65 points
10. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 46 points
Predicted outcome for the Mexican Grand Prix 2022
Maybe there’s a small part of Max Verstappen that would like to allow Perez a win in his home country, but then there’s a bigger part that wants 14 wins for the record.
For this reason, we can’t imagine Verstappen not going for the victory in the F1 Mexican Grand Prix. He’s just in such incredible form and clearly determined to win everything he can this season. He’ll pick up first place, Perez will follow in second, and Hamilton will arrive in third.
It’s still a bit disappointing that F1 is a three-horse race, with Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes being the only teams to be competitive in the last few years. Still, it’s hard to compete with big-budget teams and even if you’ve got the best up-and-coming driver in the world, you still need a car to back them up.
F1 has done a fairly good job of trying to level the playing field, but maybe, we’d love to see something mad like every driver having the exact same car one season. Then we’d really get to know who’s the best driver and who merely has help from the car.
Author: Joe Garland