Max Verstappen plans to use old trick to jump Ferrari pair in Mexico City GP

Max Verstappen starts the 2023 Mexico CIty GP from third, behind the two Ferrari cars

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Ahead of the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen will look into repeating a startline trick he used to take victory in the 2021 race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Starting from third, Verstappen used the slipstream from Lewis Hamilton on the run down to pass his championship rival and Valtteri Bottas to take the lead into Turn 1, eventually securing victory.

Verstappen will also start from third for Sunday’s Mexico City GP after Charles Leclerc secured pole position ahead of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.

“No, I always learned that you can never repeat the same start from when I was little,” Verstappen admitted to the press. “Of course, you can look at it. 

“But every year is very different. It depends on how good your actual start is. Then, you know the line to the first corner. There’s a lot that comes into play track conditions as well.

“So it’s more just an instinct. Once you do your start, you make your mind up in mind up of what you’re going to do.”

Pole sitter Charles Leclerc, Second placed qualifier Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Third placed qualifier Max Verstappen of Red Bull after 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Confident of victory in 2023 Mexico City GP

With both Ferraris likely to give him a tow into Turn 1 and with two fresh sets of hards tyres, Verstappen is still a serious contender to secure his fifth victory in Mexico and the 16th of 2023.

However, Turn 1 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez is known for its fair share of opening lap incidents, due to the track tightening up from the front straight to the opening section of corners.

Overtaking is also notoriously difficult, with the front straight and the Foro Sol stadium section the only likely passing opportunities once the opening laps of the race are completed. 

“[I have a] good [chance of victory], I also have two [sets of] hard tyres, so nobody else has them around me,” Verstappen stated. 

“So that’s also maybe an advantage for tomorrow. But yeah, I mean, a lot can happen into Turn 1 already.  

“Because [there is] so low grip. If you tried to push a little bit more, you might overheat the tyres, or you have a little slide, and that’s what happened to me today.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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