Trackside Tipster
Topic

Trackside Tipster

F1 Form Guide: Mexican Grand Prix

Red Bull on top, Honda’s helpful horsepower, value in a flyer and is it time for a team title punt? Here are some tips for this weekend in Mexico City.

F1 Form Guide: Mexican Grand Prix

The Red Bull flags will be fluttering as home F1 hero Sergio Perez returns to Mexico City. Trackside Tipster takes a look at what he could achieve and where some of the surprises could come from this weekend.

Time for a punt on the teams’ title?

The last race in the United States had always been a Mercedes monopoly, but Red Bull did not read the script.

Max Verstappen’s form-destroying victory reduced Mercedes’ advantage over Red Bull by 13 points, to 23, and with Mexico and Brazil tipped to favour the chasing team, there is good value to be had in the constructors’ championship right now.


Winning in F1 is all about playing your cars right and getting a good roll of the dice. Try your luck at Casino by clicking here.

18+. New depositors only. UK residents only. Min deposit £10. T&Cs apply begambleaware.org. Play Responsibly


A 1-2 for Red Bull – with Perez on for a hat-trick of podiums and boosted by home fan ‘horsepower’ – is entirely possible. That would cut the gap to seven (or even more if Mercedes are not 3-4), shortening what are currently decent odds.

Barrier detail

Barrier detail

Photo by: Erik Junius

Predictable podium?

In the past five Mexican races, the records show Mercedes winning 3-2 – but delve into the detail and the picture changes.

Hamilton won last time out but Verstappen was faster. The Red Bull driver was half a second faster than his rival in qualifying, only to be penalised three grid spots for a flag infringement. In the race, a collision with Valtteri Bottas dropped him to the back after he drove a full lap with a puncture – but despite coming out 30 seconds behind 19th place, he still recovered to finish sixth.

The two years before that, in 2018 (when Red Bull locked out the front row) and 2017, Verstappen won both, leading from the very first lap on each occasion – albeit with Hamilton sidelined by a puncture himself in 2017.

The high altitude has traditionally favoured Red Bull’s Honda powerplant – and since the French Grand Prix in mid-June, Verstappen has won six out of the nine races he has finished, while Perez has finished third in the last two races.

It’s a fair chance, then, that Verstappen, Perez and Hamilton should be the top three finishers – and picking them to finish in any order could offer good value.

Leclerc to pull a top-three surprise?

Further down the order, it is hard to find value in the most regular top-10 finishers – but, again, if there is any upset in the front runners, Ferrari could be the best bet of the bunch.

The team has strong and improving form in Mexico. In 2016 they finished 4-5; in 2017 that was 3-4 and in 2018 it was 2-3. At the last Mexican race, in 2019, they were 1-2 on the grid (after Verstappen’s demotion) and finished 2-4, within six seconds of winner Hamilton.

Charles Leclerc finished fourth in the US and a recent engine upgrade will give extra power to raise downforce levels for the high altitude without losing too much grunt. A surprise podium for Leclerc or Carlos Sainz could be worth a punt.

Track detail

Track detail

Photo by: Erik Junius

AlphaTauri on for a top-10?

That high-altitude Honda engine performance mentioned earlier is not just likely to push Red Bull to the front – it could also help boost AlphaTauri into a decent points-scoring spot.

Pierre Gasly has finished in the points for the team in the last two Mexican races – their only two under Honda power – and this year he has been a top-10 finisher in 11 of the 17 races.

Fastest lap flutter on the big boys?

Now that F1 has placed a one-point prize on the fastest lap, it has become a valuable commodity – and with such a close-fought title battle it is now something both Red Bull and Mercedes chase down hard.

In fact, this season, the two lead teams have collected 13 of the 16 FL-handed out (the others being AlphaTauri and two for McLaren, while no fastest lap was recorded in the Belgian Grand Prix washout).

At the time of writing, both teams were showing odds of 1/1 for fastest lap – giving a fair opportunity to double your money if you pick the right side. Selecting one of the title protagonists gives even better odds of 2/1, which is decent value when you consider the odds on the same drivers for race victory.

shares
comments
Red Bull could face "complicated" team orders call in Mexico - Perez
Previous article

Red Bull could face "complicated" team orders call in Mexico - Perez

Next article

Why social media backlash isn’t swaying F1 on sprint race future

Why social media backlash isn’t swaying F1 on sprint race future
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022