Formula 1 heads south of the border from Texas for what could be the third-to-last race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix.
It’s a race that’s certainly in danger – the track is only on the calendar until 2025 by which time home darling Sergio Perez could well be retired. Heck, he could be counting down the days on his F1 career by the time he lands in Brazil, if rumours are to be believed.
But for now, it’s the first non-sprint F1 weekend since September’s Japanese GP, meaning teams get three hours of practice before locking in their setups on Saturday afternoon.
One thing that won’t change across the weekend is altitude, but it will cause some teams problems. Sat at 2,200m of elevation (the next-highest is Interlagos at 800m), the thin air can mean cooling issues all over the car and Mexico City has historically sprung surprises as a result.
Friday: Practice 1 & Practice 2
Things stay pretty consistent over the weekend, with a bright and sunny start on Friday morning.
There’s at least four F2 drivers scheduled to take part in FP1 – Frederik Vesti, Oliver Bearman, Jack Doohan and Isack Hadjar for Mercedes, Haas, Alpine and AlphaTauri respectively.
No one should have anything too extreme to deal with weather-wise though, temperatures will peak at 25 degrees Celsius, just before FP2 starts at 16:00 local time.
Friday will be the windiest day of the weekend too, but gust speed will barely top double figures.
Saturday: Practice 3 & Qualifying
Similar to Friday, temperatures won’t get too hot and the wind won’t be too gusty. There is a 10% chance of rain for qualifying, but expect that number to go down as the weekend approaches.
Interestingly, humidity will plummet from 90 percent early in the morning, to 50 percent at for FP3 at 11:30am local time and just 30 percent by the time qualifying starts at mid-afternoon.
Again temperature won’t get any higher than 25 degrees, but the chance of rain is up to a whopping 14 percent come lights out at 14:00.
However, this is F1 where the forecast seemingly needs to be north of 99% for fans to be sure of getting some wet-weather action.
Humidity and wind speed won’t be an issue either, so it really is on whether Red Bull can somehow screw up their setup with the altitude. Don’t get your hopes up, it’s Max Verstappen‘s second-most successful track behind the Red Bull Ring.