2016 Mexican Grand Prix Practice Review

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Lewis Hamilton wins the United States Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen in second place and Nico Rosberg in third place. Williams, McLaren, Ferrari, Force India and Renault all managed to score some much needed points at the event also.

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is host for the Mexican Grand Prix. The circuit is located in northeast Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. The circuit is built in a public park and owned by the government of the city. The track has a very bumpy surface, mostly due to Mexico City’s location on a geologically active region. Moreover, with an elevation of 2,285 meters, the thin air creates difficulties for both the drivers and their cars.

The circuit is 4.304 kilometers long and features 17 turns. The driving direction is clockwise. There is just a few slow turns on the circuit and most of the turns open up on the exit, allowing the driver to get back on the throttle while still turning. The Peraltada turn before the long start/finish straight is slightly banked and known for being extremely fast. Herman Tilke was in charge of renovating the circuit in 2015 to ensure it meet the latest FIA standard.

Aside from many popular car races, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is also home to other sporting events including the final of the prestigious Ciudad de Mexico Marathon. The race track was named after the brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez which is why it is also called the Rodriguez Brothers Racetrack. Unfortunately, they both died in racing accidents.

Practices 1, 2 and 3

The main headline from the Practice sessions is that Mercedes look to have the driver-car package to beat this weekend as weather conditions and tyre management which will test the drivers, teams and the cars throughout Friday and Saturday practice sessions.

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in FP1.

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in FP1.

Practice 1 saw Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheet with a time of 1.20.914 followed closely by Sebastian Vettel with a gap of 0.079 seconds behind, Kimi Raikkonen was in third with a gap of 0.158 seconds behind, Sergio Perez in fourth with a gap of 0.286 seconds behind and Nico Hulkenberg in fifth with a gap of 0.495 seconds behind Hamilton.

Valtteri Bottas was in sixth with a gap of 0.533 seconds behind, Nico Rosberg was in seventh with a gap of 0.759 seconds behind, Daniel Ricciardo was eighth with a gap of 0.813 seconds behind, Felipe Massa was ninth with a gap of 0.922 behind and Daniil Kvyat was tenth with a gap of 1.301 seconds behind Hamilton.

With just under an hour left of FP1, the red flag was brought out after Felipe Nasr suffered damage to his front wing on the track. Nasr sustained this damage after bouncing off a kerb which then caused his front wing to snap and shatter to pieces. But Nasr was able to get back to the pitlane and was able to continue running in the session.

In the last forty minutes of the session, Max Verstappen did not run in the session due to problems with overheating in his brakes that needed further investigation by his team. But towards the end of FP1, Sergio Perez’s engineer informed him via his team radio that rain is heading into the circuit and could spice things up going into FP2. .

Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets in FP2.

Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets in FP2.

Practice 2 saw Vettel tops the timesheet with a time of 1.19.790 followed closely by Hamilton with a gap of 0.004 seconds behind, Rosberg was in third with a gap of 0.435 seconds behind, Raikkonen in fourth with a gap of 0.469 seconds behind and Ricciardo in fifth with a gap of 0.658 seconds behind Vettel

Hulkenberg was in sixth with a gap of 0.784 seconds behind, Verstappen was in seventh with a gap of 0.829 seconds behind, Bottas was eighth with a gap of 0.839 seconds behind, Sainz Jr was ninth with a gap of 1.184 seconds behind and Alonso was tenth with a gap of 1.213 seconds behind Vettel.

At the end of the session, Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso had smoke coming out of it after he stopped shortly before the pitlane entrance.

Max Verstappen tops the timesheets in FP3.

Max Verstappen tops the timesheets in FP3.

Practice 3 saw Verstappen tops the timesheet with a time of 1.19.137 followed closely by Hamilton with a gap of 0.094 seconds behind, Ricciardo was in third with a gap of 0.233 seconds behind, Rosberg in fourth with a gap of 0.481 seconds behind and Bottas in fifth with a gap of 0.674 seconds behind Verstappen.

Vettel was in sixth with a gap of 0.800 seconds behind, Massa was in seventh with a gap of 0.860 seconds behind, Massa was eighth with a gap of 0.860 seconds behind, Hulkenberg was ninth with a gap of 1.118 seconds behind and Sainz Jr was tenth with a gap of 1.188 seconds behind Verstappen.

You would be stupid not to bet against the Mercedes drivers of Hamilton and Rosberg to gain pole position again this weekend. As the Mercedes drivers seem to be performing brilliantly at the moment and the momentum is with them from all the track mileage and their strong form from the last race. Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, or Verstappen also cannot be discounted for the pole also as they are consistently within the top ten places at the moment.

However, I think that Williams, Force India, Toro Rosso or even McLaren have shown that they could throw themselves into the mix and could qualify well here to be in the hunt for some decent points this weekend. We all look forward to the qualifying session of the Grand Prix with excitement…

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