McLaren, Force India and Sauber preview the Mexican Grand prix

McLaren, Force India and Sauber preview the Mexican Grand prix

COTA, pitlane
photo: Glenn Dunbar/McLaren

The McLaren, Force India and Sauber teams preview the next round from the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship – the Mexican Grand prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Fernando Alonso

“I’m looking forward to being in Mexico in a few days. Fans always welcome us in such a warm and enthusiast way, and once again we’ll be visiting around the ‘day of the dead’ time, when the whole city seems to be celebrating.

“The atmosphere at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is also unique, especially in the Stadium section, where the view is overwhelming and you get so close to the fans that you can even hear them roaring when you drive through.

“I want to put the disappointing race in Austin behind me as quickly as possible, so I can’t wait to be in the car again in three days.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

“The track in Mexico is very special because of the altitude. We all run maximum downforce, but because of the altitude it actually makes it lower than Monza. That makes the cars very tricky to drive. We will also return to the Hypersoft tyre this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how that behaves.

“The Stadium section is amazing – I remember the fans last year were going crazy there. It was a packed race and they were cheering for everyone as they drove through, which made for a great atmosphere.

“Mexico City is a cool place. Everyone is really friendly and the food is great too. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend and hopefully some positive results on track.”

Sergio Perez

“Racing in Mexico is the highlight of the season for me. The excitement each time we go back there is the same. When I see the busy grandstands, I feel very proud and the support from the people is fantastic. The energy of the crowd really motivates me and the drivers’ parade is always a very emotional moment.

“It’s an extremely busy weekend for everybody: me, my team, the sponsors, but it’s still the best week of the entire season. To have my family and friends around me helps make this race even more special. I really want to give everybody a strong result to celebrate on Sunday.

“The circuit is a big challenge. Because of the altitude, the track is slippery with low grip levels and it’s very easy to make a mistake or lose time. The long straight is usually your best chance for overtaking, but with these cars, it’s never easy to pass.”

Esteban Ocon

“The Mexico weekend is good fun. It’s a busy race for the team, of course, and we have quite a few events with partners during the week, so we get to see a bit of the city as well. It’s Checo’s home race so the whole team is busy from the moment we land!

“The atmosphere when you get to the track is special. Mexicans love sport and the passion they show for Formula One is incredible. The best part is to drive in the stadium section when the grandstands are full. I think all the drivers enjoy the buzz and emotions you get from such a massive crowd.

“It’s a good track to drive, but it’s a tough one. You’re at very high altitude and this really affects the set-up – it’s difficult to find a good balance. The cars are set up with high-downforce, but it feels like low downforce. You lack grip and the car feels very slippery, especially at the start of the weekend, but you soon get used to it.”

Marcus Ericsson

“The race in Mexico is an exciting one. The fans are amazing and always add to the magical track. The circuit is interesting and the cars feel very low in grip due to the high altitude, which is a unique challenge. It has been a while since I last scored points, so that will be my target and I will work hard to have a strong performance there this weekend.”

Charles Leclerc

“The Mexican GP is a very interesting race, as it is different to what we are used to. We are located at quite a high altitude, so it is demanding to drive there – both for the cars as well as physically for us drivers. I look forward to it, and hopefully, we can recover from the bad luck we have had in the last two races. We have a few more chances to score points this season and will push to bring home good results.”