The last time F1 visited Mexico City, Nigel Mansell won in dominant fashion for Williams Renault, Michael Schumacher grabbed his first podium finish, there were two genders attempting to qualify and I was a year old.
Plenty has changed since 1992, but two very important things remain the same; Mexico absolutely loves Formula One, and we still have one team dominating proceedings thanks to Mercedes, who grabbed yet another 1-2 finish on Sunday.
Without futher ado – here are BadgerGP’s top 5 things from Mexico City!
Esteban Haas a drive for 2016!
“Just who would get the second Haas seat alongside Romain Grosjean in 2016?” asked no one last week.
The entire F1 paddock knew weeks ago the drive was almost certainly going to head Esteban Gutierrez’s way, thanks to his Ferrari connections and, perhaps, more importantly, Mexican pesos.
The timing of the announcement was key though, and they chose Friday night in Mexico City to deliver the news to give the hundreds of thousands of already excited Mexicans even more to shout about come Sunday afternoon.
We’re just disappointed they didn’t wear sombreros for the occasion, quite frankly.
Wrestling is one of Mexico’s most popular sports and F1 didn’t miss an opportunity for some excellent, if bizarre, PR photos, with drivers wearing some traditional wrestle gear!
We had everyone from Nigel Mansell and the Force India boys to Pastor Maldonado (must have come naturally to him…) and even Martin Brundle getting in on the act, thanks to some airline japery from Eric Boullier!
The best F1/Wrestling crossover of the weekend was saved for the newly crowned three-time World Champ however, as Lewis Hamilton saw himself in the ring with Lucha Libre on Thursday night.
Move over Nico Hulkenberg, there’s a new heavyweight in town, and his name is Lewis Hamiltonne!
Nacho day Ferrari!
The Scuderia came to Mexico with high hopes they could at least challenge Mercedes on track, and keep Sebastian Vettel in second place in the title standings. They left Mexico, however, with no points and two very battered race cars.
Kimi Raikkonen came to blows – someone must have forgot to tell him the wrestling was in Thursday – yet again with Valtteri Bottas. This time the Prancing Horse came off worst and Bottas could be seen wearing his best Dick Dastardly face all the way home afterwards.
Vettel on the other hand seemed more inclined to drive off the track than on it for much of the afternoon, eventually planting his car into the TechPro barriers on lap 50. It was the first time since the 2006 Australian Grand Prix that neither Ferrari was classified in the results.
Kimi was clearly in no mood to taco about it after the race…
Valterri Bottas, Daniil Kyvat, Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg had all recently been on the receiving end of a beating from their team-mates, but they all managed to turn that around on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
We are in the twilight of the 2015 season and it’s incredibly important that these drivers, all of whom haven’t really had the best of seasons, finish on a high. The psychology of beating your team-mate in the final races of the year can be carried on all through the long winter months ahead of the new season because as they say, you’re only as good as your last race!
That’s the number of people we need to thank. as that’s the amount of fans who attended the Mexican Grand Prix across the weekend, and provided us with an atmosphere that was truly scintillating and oh-so infectious, even in a damp and grey Great Britain.
The roar each time Sergio Perez stormed by the stadium section was actual rather emotional, and a timely reminder that Formula One can still be a people’s sport. Niki Lauda called it ‘the best I’ve ever seen’ in reaction to the crowds over the four days.
We had Mexican waves going all afternoon, and the cheers never seemed to dim in volume no matter how dull the race itself appeared to be. After the race the top three drivers parked their cars on what used to be a baseball field, to then be presented to the stadium crowd like gladiatorial heroes. It was simply majestic organisation.
All this on the back of a brilliant race in Austin just highlighted what a fantastic product Formula One has when it goes to the fans and countries who really want to see it. Less money grabbers and more passion please Bernie!
That’s why we have to give the Mexican crowd top spot in our Mexican GP Top 5, for reminding us all of why we love Formula One racing. Thank you Mexico!