Ferrari are the favorites to come away with victory from this weekend’s Formula One Mexican Grand Prix 2019 (Race: 2.10pm ET Sunday).
Ferrari continued their post-summer resurgence by taking a fifth consecutive pole position two weeks ago in Japan. As in Singapore, they were unable to convert that into the race victory due to a pair of first-lap errors from their drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.
Pole sitter Vettel got bogged down off the line after getting going a fraction too early and then stopping to avoid a penalty, allowing the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas through into the lead. Leclerc suffered wing damage that required a pitstop after running wide into the Red Bull of Max Verstappen through turn two, ending Verstappen’s race.
Bottas drove off from there to record a comfortable victory, with Vettel occupied by the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who he held off to take second, through the closing stages. Leclerc finished sixth on the track but was pushed down to seventh by post-race time penalties.
The one-three finish was enough to confirm a sixth consecutive constructors’ championship for Mercedes and reduce the battle for the drivers’ championship to just their drivers. In truth, it is only likely to be a matter of time before Hamilton wraps up his sixth title, a third in a row.
Ferrari should, though, be the pace setters this weekend. The three straights of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, including the incredibly long start-finish straight, will benefit the superior grunt of their engine. The high altitude of the circuit will probably dampen that advantage to a degree, but we saw in Austria earlier this year that Mercedes have cooling issues above sea level. That will only be exacerbated at an even higher altitude.
The primary concern for Ferrari will be the degree to which their car performs through the twisty stadium section, although their display in Singapore following their updated front wing seemed to suggest they have at least partially solved some of their problems through those types of corners.
Red Bull have taken victory in Mexico through Verstappen in each of the last two years, and could very well challenge this weekend. Although it did seem that the Renault power unit they were running at the time worked especially well at altitude. With a Honda in the back this year, they might not be quite so competitive.
So it is Ferrari who look best placed to take victory, especially if they can secure a pair of good starting positions in qualifying. Leclerc has taken more pole positions (six) than any other driver this season, including four in the last five races, and has a good chance of again being the fastest qualifier in Mexico.
The Monégasque driver can also be fancied to prevail on race day. He put together a good weekend in Mexico for Sauber last year, qualifying ninth and finishing seventh. He has marginally had the upper hand on teammate Vettel this season despite this being his first year in the Ferrari. A third win of the year could be Leclerc’s on Sunday.
Alexander Albon came home fourth for Red Bull in Japan, ahead of the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, whose newly-gained sixth place in the drivers’ championship is likely to come under serious threat from Albon over the remaining four races of the year. Daniel Ricciardo took sixth for Renault, ahead of Leclerc, Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso, the Racing Point of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg in the second Renault.
Sainz has been the primary points scorer in McLaren’s push to finish fourth in the constructors’ championship, with more than double the points of his rookie teammate Lando Norris. Fourth would represent the team’s best finish since they came home third in 2012. They have a comfortable but not unassailable 34-point lead over Renault at this stage and just need a couple more good results to confirm that position.
Sainz has secured seven top-six finishes so far this season. As previously noted the Renault power unit McLaren now have behind them has generally performed better at Mexico than elsewhere over the last couple of years. While Sainz is yet to score in four attempts at the Mexican Grand Prix, but he has a solid chance of making it fifth time lucky with a top-six finish on Sunday.
Our Preview’s F1 Mexican Grand Prix Betting Tips Verdict
- Bet on Charles Leclerc to be the fastest qualifier (ie: to win pole position) @ best odds of +110 with Bookmaker. It is evens with the other top online USA legal sportsbooks.
- Back Charles Leclerc to win the race @ +180 with Bookmaker.
- Bet on Carlos Sainz to finish in the top six @ +125 with Bovada, Intertops or BetOnline.