2016 Mexican Grand Prix – Preview
The 2016 Formula One World Championship season continues this weekend with Round 19, the Mexican Grand Prix, from Mexico City
- Nico: “Standing on that podium last year was one of the best moments of my career”
- Lewis: “I’ve never been one to give up and I don’t plan on starting now”
- Toto: “We are looking at an exciting end to this season and the title battle”
- Paddy: “The key feature of this race is the high altitude”
- Vital Statistics: Mexico City
I came into Sunday with a good chance of winning but it didn’t work out. That’s the way it is, so I accept that and now it’s on to the next one in Mexico. My goal is to try and win there just as it has been at every race. Of course, to be in a Championship battle at the end of the year is awesome and I’m excited about that. But my approach is to keep it simple. There are many things that can happen during a race weekend which are out of your control, so it’s best to just block all that out and focus on the job at hand. That’s what’s worked best for me and how I feel at my strongest. I’m excited to head back to Mexico City again. Driving the track feels like being back at a kart circuit with all the tight corners and the noise and the atmosphere in the stadium section is really phenomenal. Standing on that podium last year was one of the best moments of my career, so I hope I can get back up there and experience it again. We’ve got three races left to enjoy this awesome Silver Arrow, so I’m planning on making the most of every moment.
It was great to finally get that 50th win after a couple of tough weekends. I’ve just continued to keep a positive frame of mind, avoid dwelling on the past, work and train hard and I knew eventually the result would come. The moment you give up is the moment you lose. I’ve never been one to give up and I don’t plan on starting now. There are still plenty of points available and anything is possible. Next up it’s Mexico, which was a great experience last time out. It’s crazy how slippery the circuit is with the altitude giving you so little downforce from the car. It’s a big challenge, so even though last year’s race was a bit frustrating for me, I actually had a lot of fun out there. I’m looking forward to giving it another go and hopefully going one better this time. On top of that, it has to be one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen. There are so many people with so much energy and excitement for the sport in Mexico. The stands were full even on Friday, which was really good to see. I saw a few Mexican flags with my name on them in Austin which was awesome, so hopefully those guys will be there to give me that extra lift this weekend too.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Lewis produced an impressive weekend all round in Austin. After Suzuka, he went away, processed everything and came back stronger, which we have seen many times from him before. It was damage limitation for Nico, who is in a difficult position. He needs to look at each weekend at a time, which has been very effective for him this year, but also make sure he doesn’t DNF. The pressure is on both in different ways. Nico was very strong in Singapore, Lewis in Malaysia, Nico again in Japan and then Lewis back on top in the USA. It keeps bouncing between the two, so I’m really curious how it’s going to go from here. Then, there is the challenge from our rivals, which will intensify in the final few races. We were fortunate with the Safety Car in Austin. We had the pace – but Daniel (Ricciardo) in particular was very quick, so there is always a threat. The longer you leave the rules alone the more teams will converge on performance. Nothing in particular has changed on the chassis side over the past couple of years, so Ferrari and Renault in particular on the engine side have done a good job to close up to us. The game for 2017 has also already started, so when you throw all these factors into the mix we are looking at an exciting end to this season and the title battle.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Mexico was a fantastic event last year, with a tremendous crowd that clearly loves Formula One and created arguably the best atmosphere of the entire season. I can still remember the band performing before the race as if it were yesterday! From a technical point of view, the key feature of this race is the high altitude at which Mexico City is situated – giving it an atmospheric pressure of less than 80% of normal levels. This brings with it a reduction of aerodynamic forces, both downforce and drag, while the turbocharged Hybrid Power Unit is still able to deliver its normal level of power. The knock-on effect is that this circuit is tough on tyres, as grip levels are very low, and tough on brakes thanks to high speeds combined with low levels of cooling and drag. So, there are a lot of things to manage through the weekend simply to keep both cars healthy. At the same time, it’s tricky for the drivers, as they are essentially running downforce levels equivalent to Monza at a circuit with significantly more twists and turns. That creates some headaches for them behind the wheel but also the potential for some great racing, so hopefully the crowds will be treated to just that. We’ll be focused on doing the right homework to make sure we’re in good shape for the race in terms of reliability and performance. Top of our list will be to maintain the best possible conditions for a fair competition between Nico and Lewis as the title battle builds towards an exciting crescendo.
2016 Mexican Grand Prix Timetable
|Session||Local Time (CDT)||Brackley (BST)||Stuttgart (CEST)|
|Practice 1||10:00 – 11:30||16:00 – 17:30||17:00 – 18:30|
|Practice 2||14:00 – 15:30||20:00 – 21:30||21:00 – 22:30|
|Practice 3||10:00 – 11:00||16:00 – 17:00||17:00 – 18:00|
|Qualifying||13:00 – 14:00||19:00 – 20:00||20:00 – 21:00|
|Race||13:00 – 15:00||19:00 – 21:00||20:00 – 22:00|
Weather.com Forecast (Accurate as of Tuesday 25 October)
|Thu||08 – 20°C||Cloudy||20%||24mph NNE||53%|
|Fri||10 – 19°C||Cloudy||10%||24mph NNE||56%|
|Sat||10 – 20°C||Cloudy||20%||19mph NNE||57%|
|Sun||11 – 22°C||Cloudy||20%||16mph NNE||56%|
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