Mexican Grand Prix Preview

Preview Round 19 of the 2016 Formula One season, the Mexican Grand Prix.

Onwards to Mexico, Formula One crosses the border for the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix. F1’s second visit back to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez following a 21-year absence. Where last year’s race signalled the start of Rosberg’s dominant streak that has teed up a potential title clincher this weekend.

For the second time, Formula One makes the 1,000 mile trip south from Texas to Mexico City from the United States Grand Prix to the Mexican Grand Prix. A race won by Rosberg a year ago, when Sergio Perez delighted the home crowd as the only Mexican on the grid.

This year, Perez returns home in the company of Esteban Gutierrez. As the Haas driver prepares for his first Grand Prix on home soil.

Mexican GP fans cheer on their home driver. Copyright Force India.

Vamos Checo! Mexican GP fans cheer on their home driver. Copyright Force India.

Last time out, Lewis Hamilton clinched his first Grand Prix victory since the summer break. Ending a run of results that saw the Briton come home on the podium, but never on the top spot. And a run that saw Rosberg regain and stretch his championship lead – so much so that he could clinch the title this weekend.

Rosberg can win what would be his first Formula One Drivers’ World Championship title with victory in Mexico City. So long as Hamilton fails to finish or fails to score a single point.

Should Rosberg win the Mexican Grand Prix and Lewis fail to bring home a point, Nico will then hold a 51 point lead over Hamilton, with 50 points still to play for.  Furthermore, should Rosberg win and Hamilton scores a point in 10th place, the title would also be the German’s on the basis of Nico claiming more victories in 2016

Mexico GP 2015 podium - copyright Luis urquiza

Nico Rosberg lifts the first place trophy at the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix. Photo credit: Luis Urquiza

When Formula One made its return to Mexico City last year, Lewis Hamilton arrived at the circuit having just clinched his third World Championship title. But when Formula One left the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez, it was Rosberg celebrating victory. His first in what would be a dominant streak for the German.

His first in what would be a dominant streak for the German.

Rosberg continued his form out of Mexico to win the season’s final races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to end the year on a high. A run of form he would then carry into the new year, starting the 2016 season on a roll.

Nico lapped up the victories early on in the season, picking up the first place trophies in Australia, Bahrain, China and Russia to add to his three at the end of 2015. His run of seven in a row the best of his career, and better than anything Hamilton has been capable of.

The home of the Mexican Grand Prix, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez. Copyright: formula1.com.

The home of the Mexican Grand Prix, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez. Copyright: formula1.com.

The return to Mexico last year came at a modified version of the track raced on by Nigel Mansell in 1992. With the famous bumps ironed out and the feared banked Peraltada replaced by a vibrant stadium.

The circuit now also features two long DRS zones, both coming in the first sector. Where top speeds came be reached and cars are pushed to their limits, before a tight and twisting middle sector requires a planted car.

Compared to the former design, the layout through the middle sector is the most similar area – with only the angles and length of the corners differing. The final sector, however, is the most different as a result of the stadium replaced the Peraltada.

The stadium section does, however, give spectators a close-to-the-action view as cars bunch up and travel in close proximity through the tight corners before exiting back onto the pit straight or come into the pits.

The stadium bursts with colour for the Mexican GP podium celebrations. Copyright Red Bull Racing.

The stadium bursts with colour for the Mexican GP podium celebrations. Copyright Red Bull Racing.

Live TV coverage of the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix comes via both Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4

live on TV in England via Sky Sports. With the subscription-based service broadcasting the weekend on their dedicated F1 channel, as well as select sessions on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports Mix.

Wednesday, October 26
20:30 – The F1 Report

Thursday, October 27
17:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Live
21:45 – Paddock Uncut

Friday, October 28
15:45 – Mexican GP – Practice One – Live
19:45 – Mexican GP – Practice Two – Live
22:00 – Team Principals’ Press Conference – Live
22:30 – The F1 Show – Live

Saturday, October 29
15:45 – Mexican GP – Practice Three – Live
18:00 – Mexican GP – Qualifying – Build-up – Live
18:00 – Mexican GP – Qualifying – Build-up – Live (Channel 4)
19:00 – Mexican GP – Qualifying – Live
19:00 – Mexican GP – Qualifying – Live (Channel 4)

Sunday, October 30
00:00 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
17:30 – Mexican GP – Track Parade – Live
18:00 – Mexican GP – Pitlane – Live
18:00 – Mexican GP – Build-up (Channel 4)
19:00 – Mexican GP – Race – Live
19:00 – Mexican GP – Race – Live (Channel 4)
21:30 – Mexican GP – Paddock Live

*Times above are for Sky Sports F1 unless stated.