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Mexican GP: what time is the race? And can anyone beat Verstappen?

F1 visits Mexico City this weekend, and Max Verstappen is on the hunt for a record-breaking 14th win of the season

Published: 28 Oct 2022

We’re almost at the end of the 2022 season now, with the Mexican Grand Prix the first of three races left to complete before the drivers trade in their helmets for Christmas party hats.

The championship is of course won: Max Verstappen won his second title in Japan three weeks ago and his Red Bull team claimed the constructors’ crown last time out in the US of A.

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That said, there’s still lots to play for. Victory for Verstappen would see him set a record for the most F1 wins in a single season (he’s currently tied with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel on 13), and don’t forget that Lewis Hamilton still hasn’t won a race this year having taken the chequered flag at least once in every campaign of his career so far…

There’s lots going on off track too. Fernando Alonso has already had his P7 points finish last week reinstated, after he was controversially penalised for driving a damaged car despite his Alpine team not being ordered to fix it.

And rumour has it that Red Bull has reached an ‘accepted breach agreement’ regarding its breaking of the cost cap in 2021. We’re yet to learn what the penalty for that will be.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the Mexican GP ahead of the race. Please continue scrolling in 3… 2… 1…

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What time is the Mexican Grand Prix? And what time is qualifying?

For British viewers, qualifying begins at 9pm on Saturday 29 October, while the race itself is set to start at 8pm sharp on Sunday 30th. Don’t forget that the clocks go back an hour between these sessions, so if you’re still living your life by a mechanical timepiece, you can’t blame us for tuning in for the race an hour earlier than you’d like.

For the die hard fans who get a kick out of the practice sessions as well, FP1 gets underway at 7pm on Friday, followed by FP2 at 10pm. The third and final shakedown before quali starts at 6pm on Saturday.

What’s the weather going to be like?

The current forecast suggests that rain could be a factor on all three days of action in Mexico, although any precipitation will likely be interspersed with spells of sunshine. F1 cars aren’t exactly equipped to deal with torrential downpours right now - as the Japanese GP proved - so let’s hope for some light showers to mix things up.

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Where is the Mexican GP taking place?

The Mexican GP is being held at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, named after brothers Ricardo and Pedro who both raced in F1 in the 1960s but whose lives were tragically cut short in crashes.

The circuit has hosted an F1 race in various layouts from 1962-1970 and 1986-1992, before making yet another comeback in 2015. It’s been a mainstay on the calendar since then, with the exception of 2020 when that-bloody-plague-19 meant it had to be cancelled.

How many laps is the Mexican GP?

The track is 4.304km long (2.674 miles if you prefer imperial), which means 71 laps are required for the full, FIA-approved race distance of 300km. Last year Valtteri Bottas grabbed pole position with a time of 1:15.875, but the race was won by a certain Max Verstappen…

Who’s going to win the Mexican GP?

So far this season Max Verstappen has won 13 races and everyone else combined has managed… six. Two of which were Sergio Perez in an identical car. So if you’re betting on anything other than a Dutch-driven Red Bull prevailing on Sunday, you are either very brave or simply immune to pattern recognition.

The Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz could challenge given how quick they usually are in qualifying. And Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is reportedly talking up his team’s chances this weekend given the unusual characteristics of the track. Let’s see…

How can I watch the Mexican GP?

Ring a travel agent and see what flights are left near you, if you run to the gate you might still make it… Oh, you meant on telly? Well, UK fans have two options: watch the race on Sky Sports’ dedicated F1 channel, or take out a Now TV subscription in order to stream Sky Sports’ dedicated F1 channel. The free option is to wait for the coverage on Channel 4: quali highlights will be broadcast at 12.30pm on Sunday, with race highlights to follow that night from 1.05am on Monday morning. You might need cocktail sticks to keep those eyelids open.

Alternatively, BBC Radio 5 Live will have live commentary of the race via the airwaves. So you can let your imagination do the rest.

What’s the Top Gear view on the Mexican GP?

We love the Mexican GP: the race is usually pretty good and the passion from the fans gives the event a special kind of energy few other grands prix can match. The news that the race will stay on the F1 calendar until the end of 2025 is great news for the sport, and although we’d never endorse any favouritism you’ve got to admit it’d be pretty cool to see Sergio Perez win his home race. Come on Sergio, we’re all rooting for you.

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