BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 06: Race winner Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 06, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Formula 1 | F1 2022 | Mexican Grand Prix preview | Perez eyes history in Mexico City
With the destination of both the World drivers’ and constructors’ championships now determined, just three races of the 2022 season remain as this weekend Formula 1 jumps the border fence for Round 20 and the Mexican Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The second of three successive races in The Americas, Max Verstappen‘s United States Grand Prix win last time out saw Red Bull seal a title double – their first since 2013.
Having amassed 391 points to date, nearest rival Charles Leclerc‘s challenge has faded away and now a mammoth 124 points the gap, the Monegasque’s own ambitions have shifted toward holding on to runners-up spot in the standings.
Though the big prizes have now been awarded this term, as Martin Brundle so accurately pointed out in broadcast last weekend, there is still much to race for as ‘the gloves come off’.
Indeed Martin. The fight is on in Mexico City.
Red Bull eye landmark weekend
Having now come to an agreement with the FIA for a $7million fine over their Cost Cap breach last season – a decision that will still be met with much controversy – Red Bull can now bask in their glory as new constructors’ champions as they eye another page in the record books.
Rolling into Mexico from Austin for the 23rd edition of the race, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez plays host to the Mexican GP for a 14th time since debuting in 1986 and it is that same number that could be particularly pertinent this weekend.
Should Verstappen secure a third win on the spin, the Dutchman will record his 14th win of the season and set a new record for most victories in a season.
Having been given a taste of such accolade holding temporary lead of last year’s race, Perez was forced to settle for third but still became the first Mexican to podium in his home country. So could Checo go one or perhaps two places better this time around?
Riding the wave of success with his team since Le Castellet, Perez took only his second chequered flag of the term in Singapore earlier this month but will be looking to his team’s performance here.
With the Mexican GP having now extended its contract on the F1 calendar until 2025, the vast void in the history of this race remains when F1 did not visit for a full 21 years between 1993 and 2014; that chasm can be filled by Perez in 2022.
Victory in Mexico City would indeed be glorious.
Hamilton targeting new ‘multi-year deal’
After another weekend of immense frustration north of the border, Lewis Hamilton is still waiting for his first win of the season.
Seeing victory again snatched away from his grasp in the final laps of a race this season, the 37-year-old Briton still registered his third P2 of the campaign after France and Hungary, but his disappointment could not be masked in Austin.
So much so in fact, that his latest setback of a tumultuous term for Mercedes had even prompted some to suggest Hamilton could be set to call it a day with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign.
Fortunately for F1 and his many and growing band of supporters however, that is not the case.
That is not to say Hamilton has not entertained the idea of retirement but as he told F1.com in the lead-up to Mexico, the Briton is not ready to hang up the driving gloves any time soon.
Indeed, the Stevenage driver is eyeing on extending for more than one season with the Silver Arrows ready to fight back next term.
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