Last updated March 1st, 2016
Lewis Hamilton secured the 2015 Formula One Drivers’ Championship with victory in the United States last weekend and he will hope to lead the pack home again at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix (Race: Sunday, 19:00 GMT live on Sky Sports F1).
Hamilton emerged victorious from an eventful race in Austin. He fell back after aggressively overtaking Nico Rosberg on the first lap, only to later profit from a mistake from his team-mate to retake the lead and secure the third drivers’ championship of his career.
A visibly frustrated Rosberg came home second ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, with neither securing sufficient points to keep the championship battle alive going into the final three races of the year. The pair will now compete for second place in the standings.
Max Verstappen achieved a superb fourth-place finish for Toro Rosso, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, who finished fifth following a similarly strong performance. Jenson Button secured his best result of the season to date and his second consecutive points finish by coming home sixth for McLaren ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr.
Pastor Maldonado scored for the third consecutive race by bringing his Lotus home in eighth, with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull rounding out the top 10.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will this weekend play host to the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992, and just the 16th in Formula One history. The circuit has been reconfigured for the return of the series, with the addition of a tighter infield section at the end of the lap representing the most significant change. The drivers seem keen to try it out.
Current weather forecasts suggest that it will be a cloudy weekend, with a slight chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday. Pirelli have selected their soft and medium compound tyres for this weekend’s event.
There is no form guide to turn to when it comes to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and in truth the bookies’ odds neatly reflect the likely order at the top, with Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel again tipped to occupy the podium places on Sunday. At this stage of the season, there is little value to be found at the front of the field.
Perez continued his excellent run of form with a strong fifth-place finish in the United States, and he will be confident of securing another good result in front of his Mexican compatriots this weekend. He has finished in the points in six of the eight races since the introduction of Force India’s B-Spec car in early July and in the top six in four of the last six.
The 25-year-old secured Force India’s joint-best finish of their Formula One tenure to date by bringing his car home third in Russia two races ago and currently enjoys a 26-point lead over his highly rated team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in the championship standings. He can be fancied to continue his streak of strong results with another top-six finish on Sunday.
Verstappen has been very impressive during his first year in Formula One. The 18-year-old has finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven races and now leads team-mate and fellow debutant Sainz Jr. by 45 points to 18 in the championship standings. After a predictably slow start to the year, he has gained in pace and confidence as the season has gone on.
The Dutchman had only previously driven on six of the 16 circuits he has encountered so far this season, but he will suffer no such disadvantage this weekend as he is far from alone in having no first-hand knowledge of the circuit’s current layout. With a good car underneath him and this in mind, he has a very good chance of again finishing in the points on Sunday.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located to the southeast of Mexico City at an elevation of more than 2,000 metres above sea level. It is by some distance the highest venue of the year, and this will put a unique and significant strain on the engines as they will need to be revved higher than usual to maintain their normal power output in the thinner air.
McLaren have had numerous problems with the cooling system of their Honda power unit this season and have also been forced to run lower than ideal revs at times. While they have gone three races without suffering a retirement from either of their cars, we believe that the conditions in Mexico are likely to see that good run come to an end on Sunday.
F1 Mexican Grand Prix Betting Tips
- Bet on Sergio Perez to finish in the top six @ best odds of 7/4 with SkyBet.
- Back Max Verstappen to finish in the points @ evens with Bet365 or Betfair.
- Make two equal-weighted single bets on Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button not to finish @ best odds of 9/4 apiece with Ladbrokes. Even if only one of them fails to finish, the bet will still turn a profit overall.
Click for latest Formula 1 Odds