Mexican Grand Prix Preview: The End is Near6 min read
Lewis Hamiton will have another opportunity to claim his fifth world championship title this weekend at the Mexican Grand Prix. After missing his opportunity at the US Grand Prix, Hamilton goes into this weekend knowing he just needs to finish seventh or higher to secure the title.
The Mercedes star is 70 points clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, meaning Vettel must win all three of the remaining races to be in with a chance of claiming the title. Even if Vettel wins the remaining three races, Hamilton only needs to claim five points to be crowned champion.
Another Mexican Grand Prix win for Max?
Last year’s Mexican Grand Prix was won by Max Verstappen and the Red Bull driver must be targeting another win this weekend. The Red Bulls go well around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and Max has been in fine form of late. Mexico has a very much down-force dependent track, so the Mexican Grand Prix could well be Red Bull’s best chance of topping the podium again this season.
Much like last year’s race, I expect Max Verstappen to have a great showing this weekend. In Austin, Max came close to winning the race, despite starting from 18th place.
A win for Max means Hamilton will be crowned champion, so don’t expect too much fight from the soon to be five-time world champion. Hamilton’s priority will be protecting his car and getting to the end of the race.
A ‘hole’ host of problems for Danny Ric
Someone that could do with a good result though is Daniel Ricciardo. The ever smiling Australian reportedly punched a hole in the dressing room wall after his seventh retirement this season in Austin. Three of the last six races have seen Ricciardo fail to see the chequered flag. Unfortunately for him, I don’t see this changing. Ricciardo is heading away from the Red Bull team next year leading me to feel that Verstappen may be getting preferential treatment for the remainder of the season.
Mercedes home and dry
Mercedes’ strategy and performance left much to be desired at the US Grand Prix, but as previously stated, they really don’t need to win. Whereas Bottas will be eager to get good results for the remainder of the season, Hamilton will be more concerned with the championship as opposed to individual races. Lewis has to give extra racing room and will not be as cut-throat as usual on track. With only five points required he would be crazy to do anything other than this until he’s wrapped up the title.
Ferrari facing in the wrong direction
Once again, Sebastian Vettel found himself facing the wrong way on track in Austin. I could go into the reasons behind this, but to be honest this would just be a copy + paste from a previous article. Same story, different day. Sebastian Vettel has never finished in the top three positions in at the Mexican Grand Prix, so I wouldn’t be pinning all my hopes on him this weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen managed to show why, at 39-years-old, he still didn’t struggle to get a drive for the 2019 season. However, since Raikkonen waited 113 races between wins last time, I wouldn’t like to be backing him to get back-to-back wins, but I would like to see him put up a good performance.
What to back
With Kimi Raikkonen’s masterclass last weekend it’s hard to steer clear of him for the Mexican Grand Prix. Despite thinking he is unlikely to win, I still think he’ll go well. With that in mind I’m going for a speculative punt on him to get the fastest lap.
Max Verstappen has been nothing short of phenomenal in recent races and with a track to suit the 21-year-old’s car and momentum on his side, I hope to see the youngster back at the front in Mexico.
Back Kimi Raikkonen to get the fastest lap at
Back Max Verstappen to win the Mexican Grand Prix at