Formula 1 Preview: Mexico
The Formula 1 calendar for 2022 is well within the stretch run, and this week the series concludes their doubleheader in North America with the running of the Mexico City Grand Prix.
With his second World Drivers’ Championship already well in hand, Max Verstappen will be chasing history this weekend at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
After his late pass on Lewis Hamilton led to victory in the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Verstappen’s win mark for the season sits at 13, tying him with legends Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for the most in a single season.
Verstappen still has three more opportunities to break the record, and will be looking to make it eight wins in the last nine grands prix when the lights go out on Sunday.
Verstappen won’t be the only one chasing history, though, as Red Bull will be going after its ninth-straight grand prix victory on Sunday. That victory would tie Red Bull’s team record for consecutive wins, which was set back in 2013.
The driver responsible for the one victory in that stretch that doesn’t belong to Verstappen is Sergio Pérez, who will undoubtedly be looking to show out in front of his home crowd.
Pérez was able to stand on the podium in his home grand prix for the first time in last year’s edition of the event, and will no doubt have the crowd on his side as he tries to finish two spots better in this season’s iteration.
But more than just the pride of winning a home grand prix is on the line for Pérez this weekend, as he currently sits just two points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the battle for second in the World Drivers’ Championship.
What once looked like a promising championship challenge for Leclerc has now turned into a fierce defense to simply avoid a lockout of the top two spots in the championship by Red Bull’s tandem of drivers. Leclerc has stood on the podium in each of the past five races, but has failed to see the checkered flag first on any occasion.
Ferrari saw another potential chance at victory slip through its grasp last weekend after Carlos Sainz was sent spinning from pole position by Mercedes’ George Russell. The winning streak for Red Bull also means that Ferrari is still looking for their first win since Leclerc took victory at Austria in July.
On an even longer winless streak remains the seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who came just a few laps from scoring his first win of the season in Austin. Hamilton has never gone an entire season without winning a grand prix since entering the series in 2007, but that streak now seems to be in jeopardy.
While Mercedes has failed to show the pace needed to compete with Red Bull and Ferrari much of the season, Hamilton does have two wins in Mexico City to his credit, and will be looking to make some more magic happen before the checkered flag waves on Sunday.
Kasey Kreider is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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