In the mountain air of Mexico City, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton find no time to breathe.
At more than 2200 meters above sea level, Mercedes driver Hamilton has to fight back in the shimmering Formula 1 title fight. Verstappen wants to expand his World Cup tour on the Red Bull feel-good route in the mega-metropolis on Sunday (8:00 p.m. / Sky and RTL).
Five Grand Prix before the season finale, the Dutchman is heading towards his premier title in the motorsport premier class.
Spectacular Formula 1 course
“We all in the team are confident that we can do a really good job. But we have to work on the details and start all over again in Mexico to get the most out of our overall package,” said the two-time Mexico winner Verstappen the 18th stage of the world tour.
After a Corona break, Formula 1 is returning to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. The past pictures of the fan masses cheering the drivers speeding through a gap in the Foro Sol baseball stadium still seem a bit strange.
Red Bull is on this spectacular course. The Honda engine revs up in thin air. It has a slightly larger turbocharger than the competition, which means that more power can be released. Mexico and the following race in Brazil are therefore considered Red Bull routes. But what does that mean?
“You can’t rely on such performance predictions,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. “It’s very close between the two teams. I hope Mexico will be a good track for us again.” But it was already for Mercedes.
Sombrero as a trophy
Hamilton celebrated his fourth and 2018 fifth world title in Mexico ahead of schedule. The seven-time world champion knows what a Formula 1 fiesta feels like with a sombrero on the podium. “The next few tracks are very strong courses for Red Bull. It will be tough. For sure,” said Hamilton before the trip to Central America.
The world championship pursuer is twelve points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ standings. Hamilton does not believe in regularities in this Formula 1 season. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff certainly not after Verstappen won in the USA two weeks ago. Austin was previously considered the territory of Hamilton and Mercedes. “Mexico has traditionally been a difficult track for us, but anything can change this season,” said Wolff.
Mercedes wants to keep a World Cup decision against the strong Red Bull team until the end. Just don’t lose opportunities prematurely! “The goal has to be that we get to the last race and absolutely have a chance to win,” said Wolff on “RTL / ntv”. The chances of Hamilton’s historic eighth world title are “absolutely intact”.
Predictions? Not possible. Racing is “often different from what you plan. That is why the championship is only over when you can no longer win mathematically,” stated Wolff. The sombrero for the Grand Prix winner would help Hamilton on his mission.