After a few short days following the American GP, the field of the Moving Circus reconvenes in Mexico for the 18th Mexican Grand Prix which is the 18th round of the 2017 Formula One World Championship season.
The race has had three periods of operation: 1963-1970; 1986-1992 and the modern derivative which returned to the capital city of Mexico in 2015. The first era ended in 1970 with a spectacular event: 200000 fans gathered at the track to cheer on the home hero Pedro Rodriguez. The race organizers failed to control the huge mass of spectators at the end of the race. The second era ended in 1992 because of the complaints about the air pollution in the huge capital and the decaying track surface.
The track which was built in 1962 hosted a non-championship event in its inaugural year which was won by Jim Clark in his Lotus. The original track was baptized Magdalena Mixhuca. The track was renamed Hermanos Rodriguez in honour of Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez. Both drivers were killed while racing.
Each era of the track’s GP history has its own version of the circuit. The original Magdalena Mixhuca track was 5km long. When Formula One returned to Mexico in 1986, the track was shortened to 4.421km. For the latest derivative which began in 2015, the track was further shortened to 4.304km.
The Mexican Grand Prix saw the celebration of different anniversaries. Sebastian Vettel secured the 50th pole position of his career in yesterday’s qualifying session. The three-time world champion Ayrton Senna started his 100th GP of his career in the 1990 Mexican GP. Fernando Alonso celebrated his 250th start in the 2015 race at the Hermanos Rodriguez track. Michael Schumacher scored his first podium finish in the 1992 Mexican GP, driving for Benetton.
The Mexican GP has been a title-decider race three times. John Surtees won his title in 1964, Denny Hulme in 1967 and Graham Hill in 1968. On each occasion the Mexican GP was the last round of the given year.
Lance Stroll, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pirerre Gasly race for the first time of their career in Mexico. The driver with the least number of GP starts to his name, Brandon Hartley has not only raced on the Mexican track, but he has scored two victories in WEC, driving for Porsche.
From the 17 Mexican GPs, nine was won from the pole position, including the two races of the modern derivative.
For the 18th round of this year’s championship, the race stewards are: Gerd Ennser, Felipe Giaffone and Tom Kristensen.
The 2017 edition of the Mexican GP has three support racing series: Formula 4, Masters Historic Racing and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. All three series has two races over the weekend. For the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, this is the final round. Dennis Olsen and Michael Ammermüller are still in the hunt for the title.