October 29, 2015

Let's look back at the Mexican Grand Prix

Formula One is back in Mexico for the first time since 1992 on the newly revamped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The terrifying "Peraltada" corner,  scene of one of Nigel Mansell masterpieces in 1990 may be gone,  replaced by a series of turns though an actual baseball stadium but the track looks to be similar to COTA with some very long straights and the sequence of fast esses.  Add an uncertain weather forecast and we might be in for another great race.

Senna crashing at the Peraltada in 1991

The track, in use since the early sixties was known for its terrible, bumpy surface.  Presumably modern road building techniques and having the world's richest man (give or take)  behind the project have taken care of that, at least for this year.

You'll find plenty on the current track elsewhere so let's just hop back in time, first to 1969 on what was then called Autodromo Magdalena Mixhuca.

It was a year when McLaren was "the happiest team in Formula One", a Mexican drove a North American Racing Team Ferrari, Lotus thought it was a good idea to have a four wheel drive single seater and F1 was seen though amazing documentary style films.

I mentioned Mansell and the Peraltada earlier:   1990,  Prost and Mansell vs Senna and Berger.   If you don't want to watch the whole thing, skip ahead about 8 minutes.  

What was great about cars of this period is how they gave so many more opportunities for drivers to make mistakes which, of course, allows for overtaking and excitement.   Less wings, bigger tires I say.

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