Do Mercedes have any hope of coming out on top in Mexico?
Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes has “no hope” of challenging Ferrari on Mexico’s straights this weekend, as he has his first opportunity to wrap up his sixth Formula 1 world championship.
Hamilton and Bottas have four races left to battle it out for top honours. Hamilton has been the star driver this year with nine victories behind his name, while Bottas only managed to get his third of the season last weekend in Japan. The Brit is 64 points ahead of teammate Bottas, and a podium finish could be enough to secure the title. However, Ferrari’s straight-line speed advantage means Mercedes will be at a disadvantage this weekend.
|4||Max Verstappen||NED||RED BULL RACING HONDA||212|
Speaking about his focus on wrapping up the title in Mexico, Hamilton said: “I think for me it’s never been a case of always wanting to rush things.
“Valtteri’s driven well all year long, he’s done a great job today and he will most likely do a very very solid job these next races, so we still have a battle, the fight continues.
“I think Mexico is generally our worst race of the year because of the way our car is set up and it’s going to be a tough one for us. The last few have been pretty shocking, even though we’ve won the title there.
“I’m hoping for a better weekend but I think it’s going to be very hard to beat the Ferraris with those long straights.
“We have no hope of getting by on those straights, that’s for sure. But even if you look at the others, the McLarens are picking up some serious speeds on the straights, so are the Red Bulls so I think it will be a tricky one.
“I don’t anticipate it will be Mexico. I think we will be battling for a good few races.”
For Hamilton to win the championship he will need to hold a 78-point cushion over Bottas after Mexico. Thanks to the addition of a bonus point for fastest lap this year, who takes that could be decisive for whether or not the battle continues to the United States.
While Bottas knows it will be a tall order for him to overhaul Hamilton to the world championship this year, he is well aware that circumstances can change quickly in F1.
With four races remaining and 25 points for a race victory, there are still 100 points to play for – 104 if you include the single point for setting the fastest lap in a race. Bottas currently sits on 274 points, 64 behind Hamilton on 338. For Bottas to be crowned champion, he’d have to win every single one of the remaining races and hope that Hamilton fails to complete at least three races, or score very poor points.
“I don’t really give up on anything as long as there’s a theoretical chance so there’s no point in that,” he said. “Everything’s possible although I’m realistic as well that I will need to be very lucky, that’s a fact, to win all the rest of the races.
“It is my bad, mostly, that I’ve been behind this much in the points compared to Lewis. It’s my fault which I try to fix for the future but it is where we are now and just take it now race by race and see how it goes. ”
With four rounds of the 2019 campaign remaining, Leclerc has a nine-point advantage over Vettel in the fight for a likely third place in the standings.
Last year, the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow drivers finished second and third in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. How will they finish this year?
Vettel discussed Ferrari’s advantage in Mexico;
“Obviously racing at altitude has an impact on how the car feels. We are racing with maximum downforce level in terms of car setup, but, since we are racing so high above sea level, the air is very thin and the cars actually produce very little downforce.
This weekend we race at the highest track on the #F1 calendar ⛰
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) October 22, 2019
“On the long straight, I think we see the fastest top speeds of the season, which makes it difficult to manage the corners because we’ve got so little downforce physically on the car. The car is moving around a lot and it’s difficult to get the tires to work, in fact, it’s hard to get the whole car to work and to get the right feel from it. It’s a relatively short lap but not an easy one.
“Over the past couple of years, we have been on an upward trend in Mexico, although Red Bull has been the team to beat. But I think the gaps between us are getting smaller, so let’s see how we get on this year.”
Charles Leclerc shared similar points saying; “The circuit in Mexico is an unusual one. We race at such a high altitude and all the teams try to put as much downforce on the car as possible. Despite that, it still feels quite weird and the grip is extremely low.
“I have done one FP1 and one race there, so it’s one of the tracks that is still pretty new to me. I really enjoy driving there, especially because the walls are quite close and this is something I like as a driver.
“The atmosphere is amazing and driving through the stadium part of the track is truly unique, because you can see all the fans in the grandstands.”
*Odds are subject to change. Find all the latest F1 odds available on Yobetit.com