Mexico Grand Prix Tips: Could Verstappen win a record 14th race in a year?

Phillip Horton

27 October 2022

The Formula 1 World Championship is done and dusted for 2022 but there remains a Grand Prix at stake as Formula 1 heads to Mexico City – Max Verstappen will now turn his attention to a record-breaking 14th win in a single season.

An altitude challenge

Mexico City is in its third stint on the Formula 1 calendar after returning to the scene in 2015.

The event takes place in the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, within the eastern suburbs of the sprawling Mexico City metropolis, and features some of the most passionate fans of the campaign. The track features the iconic 30,000-seater Foro Sol stadium, through which the third sector passes and wraps around, and in front of which the podium sits.

However, the circuit’s most unique aspect is something unseen – the air. 

Mexico City sits at over 2,200 metres above sea level - around 1,500 metres higher than Sao Paulo, which hosts the second-highest race. 

That means the air is around 25% thinner in Mexico City compared to corresponding race tracks at or around sea level – which impacts both humans and, more importantly, technology.

Firstly, the turbo inside the power units has to work harder in order to reach the same level of performance. Increased cooling is required for the power unit and for other elements of the car, such as the gearbox and brakes – and even that is harder because of the thinner air.

The altitude also influences aerodynamic performance. The big rear wings, usually run in Monaco or Singapore, only produce grip levels experienced at Monza, where skinny wings are typically adopted. 

There is also less downforce, meaning less overall grip. This causes cars to be skittish for drivers, especially through the sweeping curves that dominate the second sector of the race.

 The thinner air also means there is less drag, which leads to a high top speed along the straights, but DRS is consequently less effective, and as cars are more susceptible to overheating it can make following a rival more problematic. 


The last time Max Verstappen visited Mexico he didn’t have a single world title to his name, but he now has two after adding a comfortable 2022 crown to his last-gasp 2021 triumph. Even before his first championship, this is a venue that has often paid dividends for the young Dutchman.

Verstappen dominated the Grand Prix in 2017, 2018 and 2021 – winning by almost 20 seconds on each occasion – despite not starting from pole position for any of the races.

That has given Verstappen a record-setting three wins in Mexico, and only Austria’s Red Bull Ring has proven a more prosperous venue for the world champion.

Checo’s best chance?

Sergio Perez is one of Mexico’s leading sports stars and there will be a frenzy of fans and a cacophonous noise wherever he goes this weekend. 

Last season was Perez’s first full campaign in a race-winning car and he delighted home fans by claiming third in Mexico City, with his son watching on next to the podium and his father leading the raucous celebrations from below. 

Red Bull’s RB18 has been the class of the field in 2022 – particularly in the second half of the season – so surely Checo is never going to have a better opportunity to savour home success? 

Mexico Grand Prix tips

Verstappen to win @ 1.6
Perez Top 3 @ 1.68 

Phillip Horton

27 October 2022

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