Race Facts – Mexican Grand Prix

The Mexican Grand Prix has been staged at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City over twenty times since 1963, most recently returning to the F1 calendar in 2015 after a 23 year absence.

  • The 2024 Mexico City Grand Prix is scheduled from October 25-27
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The first Mexican Grand Prix was held in 1962 on the newly built Magdalena Mixhuca circuit in Mexico City, named after the city park where it was located, which would host track cycling, field hockey, basketball and fencing during the Summer Olympics in 1968. 

In 1963, the race became part of the Formula 1 World Championship, and was won for the second time in succession by Jim Clark. Sadly, it wasn’t long before the Mexican Grand Prix lost its place on the calendar, mainly as a result of its own popularity. The organizers were unable to control the 200,000+ spectators flocking to the event each year, making it dangerous for the drivers. The last event for 16 years was won by Jacky Ickx in 1970 for Ferrari.

1980s Return

The circuit was partially redesigned and renamed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (after Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez, local racing brothers who both lost their lives in racing incidents) for its return to the F1 calendar in 1986. Still featuring the fearsome banked final corner (Peraltada), the circuit proved popular with drivers despite the very bumpy surface. 

The Mexican Grand Prix produced some exciting racing during this period, but once again fell from favor. The organizers weren’t able to come up with the funds required to modernize the circuit, and Mexico City’s terrible pollution didn’t help.

2015 Comeback

After a 23-year hiatus, Formula 1 returned to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2015. The circuit was comprehensively redesigned by Hermann Tilke ahead of F1’s return; the main change saw a slow-speed ‘stadium section’ added, cutting off half of the infamous Peraltada final corner. The race has been strongly supported by local fans, with sell out attendances. 

In August 2019, a new deal was announced which secured the future of the event until at least 2022. The race was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but returned in 2021, with the new official title of ‘Mexico City Grand Prix’, emphasising the support from the local government. 

Attendance at the 2021 event grew to 372,000, which was up by around 30,000 from the previous event in 2019. Visitor numbers soared further in 2022, with a record-breaking weekend crowd of over 395,000. Sergio Perez’s move to Red Bull in 2021 has helped to boost attendance figures in recent years. The Mexican driver finished on the podium in the 2021 race, becoming the first Mexican to score a podium result on home soil. He finished on the podium again in 2022. 

Ahead of the 2022 Mexico City Grand Prix weekend, Formula 1 announced the signing of a new deal with race organisers and the local government, keeping Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on the calendar for a further three seasons. The 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix became the first race weekend at the venue to attract a crowd of over 400,000.

In addition to Formula 1, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez also hosts an annual Formula E race. The Mexico City E-Prix takes place on an alternate layout of the Mexico City circuit. 

Mexican Grand Prix: Did You Know?

  • In 2021, Max Verstappen became the first driver to record three wins at the Mexican Grand Prix in its World Championship history. Jim Clark, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Lewis Hamilton are the only other repeat winners in Mexico.
  • Red Bull are the most successful team in Mexico, having taken five victories in Mexico City. In 2022, they usurped Lotus from the top spot of most team wins in Mexico. Lotus had held the record since Mexico first joined the F1 calendar in 1963. 
  • At 2,240 meters above sea level, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is by far the highest track on the current F1 calendar. Next highest is Brazil at 765 metres. At the other end of the scale, Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi is less than 1 meter above sea level.
  • Jim Clark completed a ‘Grand Slam’ at the Mexican GP in 1963, taking pole position, fastest lap and the win, leading every lap of the race.
  • In the 1986 Mexico Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger took the first of his 10 Grand Prix wins. Driving a Benetton B186, one of the most powerful F1 cars ever raced, Berger completed the win on a single set of Pirelli tires.
  • Until Sergio Perez’s podium at the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix, the best result for a Mexican driver in their home Grand Prix was fourth place, scored by Pedro Rodriguez in 1968.

READ MORE: Mexico’s Home Race F1 Heroes

  • In 2015, the final turn on the redesigned circuit was named after Nigel Mansell, who won the Mexico Grand Prix twice (1987 and 1992).
  • Lewis Hamilton is the only driver to have won the title at the Mexican Grand Prix twice, having done so in 2017 and 2018. John Surtees, Denny Hulme and Graham Hill are the other drivers to have taken title victories at the circuit.
  • In 2018, Max Verstappen became the first driver to win the Mexican Grand Prix in consecutive years. He repeated the feat in 2022 and became the first to win three in a row in 2023. 

Memorable Moments at the Mexican Grand Prix

1970: Fan Invasion

Crowd control was a serious problem at the 1970 Mexican Grand Prix. The 200,000 fans in attendance almost led to the cancellation of the race before it had begun. Jackie Stewart and home star Pedro Rodríguez even took to the track ahead of the Grand Prix to ask fans to stay behind the guard rails. Stewart went on to hit a dog during the race, and with his car out of control, he narrowly avoided a bank where people were sitting to watch the race. Jacky Ickx took the victory, but the race became a victim of its own success and was removed from the calendar

1990: Mansell Overtakes at Peraltada

The 1990 Mexican Grand Prix saw an epic battle for the final podium places. As Ayrton Senna drove off into the distance and took a comfortable lead, Alain Prost came from 13th on the grid to third, before overtaking Ferrari team-mate Nigel Mansell for second on the road. Prost was soon on the tail of Senna, and took the lead with a handful of laps remaining. A puncture for Senna left Mansell battling with Gerhard Berger. The Englishman pulled off an infamous overtake at the Peraltada corner to secure a 1-2 finish for Ferrari. Watch the video here

1991: Senna’s Big Crash

Ayrton Senna had a incident-filled week ahead of the 1991 Mexican Grand Prix. He turned up to the event with stitches in his head following a jet-ski incident. Then, during qualifying, he attempted to take the Peraltada corner faster than usual and crashed violently as a result. The rare mistake for the Brazilian saw his McLaren spin off and roll, before coming to a stop after hitting a tyre barrier. He was uninjured, and went on to finish third in the race.

2016: Vettel’s Sweary Afternoon

Sebastian Vettel attracted the headlines at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix following a curse-filled radio rant after the chequered flag. In the latter stages of the race, Vettel became embroiled in a battle with the two Red Bull drivers. As Vettel closed in on the rear of Verstappen for third place, the Red Bull driver cut the first corner and stayed ahead. Disgruntled, Vettel complained about the incident over team radio. Verstappen failed to yield, and Daniel Ricciardo soon caught up to the rear of the Ferrari. Ricciardo attempted to overtake, but Vettel blocked the move. An angry Vettel took to the radio again when the race had finished, with a swear-laden message to the Race Director. Verstappen was handed a time penalty after the race, meaning that Vettel stood on the podium – but a further penalty for Vettel ultimately saw Ricciardo awarded third place! Watch the video here.

Mexico Grand Prix Facts

Circuit Name Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
Race first held 1962
Track Length4.304km (17 turns)
Race Distance305.354km (71 laps)
Lap Record (new layout)1:18.741, Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, 2018)
2023 Result1st Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 2:02:30.814
2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +13.875s
3rd Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +23.124s

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