“Hamilton is determined to break his dry spell in F1 races in Mexico, saying he can almost feel the victory within reach.”
Only two racers have been victorious in the Mexican Grand Prix in the last six years, making them the main contenders in Formula One: Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen, who has already secured the world championship this year, is determined to finish the season with a strong performance. However, for Hamilton and his Mercedes team, the upcoming race at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez presents an opportunity for redemption and a chance to challenge Verstappen. It could also serve as a motivating factor for their performance in the 2024 season.
During the most recent race in the United States, Hamilton was only two seconds behind Verstappen at the finish, which was the closest he has been all season. He thinks he could have competed for first place if Mercedes had not made a mistake with their strategy. However, this decision became irrelevant when he was disqualified for a technical violation involving the plank underneath his car.
However, despite the letdown, their performance during the race was promising. Mercedes debuted their last significant upgrade for the season in Texas, which included a new floor. With Verstappen and his Red Bull team already focusing on next year’s car, it seemed that Mercedes had made significant progress in closing the gap between them and their competitors.
Last year, Mercedes performed well in the high altitude and thin air of Mexico City. Hamilton finished in second place and he is confident that they can improve upon their performance this year.
He expressed his disappointment with the results, stating that they were in a strong position and victory was within reach if their strategy had been executed correctly.
“We have certainly made progress. In the upcoming four races, it is difficult to determine which one we will be competitive in and which one we may struggle. We were competitive at this track last year, so there is a chance we will be closer this weekend. With the right strategy, we may even be able to challenge them.”
Hamilton is eager to go head-to-head with Verstappen in a close race, especially after a challenging season. His team is confident that their car will perform well in Mexico. However, their main concern will be the car’s performance rather than closing the gap to Hamilton’s expectations.
The outcome of the recent floor modification may have been overshadowed by the disqualification at the US Grand Prix. The team was penalized for operating with a ride height that was too low and this upcoming race will determine if they can maintain their speed with a ride height that meets regulations.
Toto Wolff, the team leader, emphasized the significance of this year’s W14 performance in the development of next year’s car. While the new design is expected to be completely different, it is being influenced by the current car’s performance. According to Wolff, testing the upgrade package at a circuit with different features will provide valuable insights for the ongoing development of the W15.
Oliver Bearman, a British driver, participated in his first F1 practice session with the Haas team in Mexico City on Friday. At only 18 years old, he is the youngest British driver to participate in an F1 weekend and is a member of the Ferrari young driver program. Currently, he is ranked sixth in the F2 championship with four wins under his belt.
He performed admirably in Mexico, coming in at a commendable 15th position, the best among the five new drivers participating. Verstappen recorded the fastest lap, followed by Alex Albon of Williams in second and Sergio Pérez in third. Hamilton finished in 11th place.
During practice, Mercedes was experimenting with different parts. The British driver made a mistake on his fast lap, but the team believes that without the error, he could have placed in the top three.