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September 13, 2019
Mexico Grand Prix: Can Hamilton finally seal his fifth title in Mexico City?
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Mexico Grand Prix: Can Hamilton finally seal his fifth title in Mexico City?

Number 44 celebrates a fourth title in 2017 – 44 years after Jackie Stewart had become the most successful British driver

The hunt for an elusive fifth World Championship continues.

In the build-up to the United States Grand Prix, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the headlines would be dominated by Hamilton’s title victory come Monday morning.

Instead, a shiny red Ferrari spoiled the party. It wasn’t Sebastian Vettel clawing his way back into the title fight that caused an upset, however; it was Kimi Raikkonen’s first win for more than five years that got the crowds going in Texas.

Throw into the mix Max Verstappen’s remarkable display from 18th on the grid to secure second on the podium – complete with destroyed race boot through pushing so hard – and the story of Austin was perhaps one of showing other drivers’ talents that we may have forgotten over the season.

Luckily for Hamilton, he only needs to finish in the top seven to finally put the celebratory bow on the F1 trophy. It’s a feeling the Mercedes man is already familiar with at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The Briton sealed the fourth in his haul in Mexico 12 months ago, despite finishing only ninth after a first-lap collision with rival Vettel. The crowd rose to their feet that day to salute one of the greats of the sport; even Vettel pulled alongside to applaud the achievement.

For a victory parade, there’s no better place than Mexico City. The track may be a bit lacklustre for the purist, and the surrounding area is not the fanciest of locations, but for an all-out party atmosphere, Mexico’s know how to deliver.

Coinciding with the Mexican festival of the Day of the Dead, the grand prix has become a riot of brightly coloured sugar skulls, elaborate flower crowns and a vibrant buzz that lends itself perfectly to a championship decider.

No ordinary drivers’ parade: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities brings a surge of colour to the grid
High praise from Hamilton: “The Mexican fans I think are the best around the world.”

Flashback quiz

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has had three stints on the F1 calendar.

Its first two championship runs were from 1963-1970 and 1986-1992.

The Mexican fiesta was brought back to life in 2015 on a five-year deal.

Fifteen drivers have toasted victory in Mexico City – some of them more than once.

With three minutes on the clock, all you have to do is name them. Simple.

How many drivers can you name?

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Previously in F1: Round 18 – United States

Nearly there: Lewis Hamilton bagged his 81st career pole and a title-decider front-row spot in Austin as he beat rival Sebastian Vettel by 0.061 seconds. The Briton said: “That was very important. The Ferraris were really quick.”
The wait goes on: What a day to grab your first win for more than five years. Kimi Raikkonen was the podium king in Texas after taking advantage of Mercedes’ delayed second pit stop for Lewis Hamilton. Although third place wasn’t enough to wrap up the title, the Briton just needs to score five points in Mexico to be crowned champion.

The track

Back pocket facts – Mexico

  • The volcano rabbit is an extremely rare creature that resides in the mountains of Mexico. Weighing in at a miniscule 400 grams, it’s second only to the pygmy rabbit for it’s diminutive size.
  • “Wallyball” is an annual tradition in the sister towns of Naco, Sonora, in Mexico and Naco, Arizona, in the United States. Every April, teams from either side of the border face off in a fast-paced version of volleyball.
  • Mexican wrestling, called lucha libre, features an ongoing battle between rudos (the rule breakers) and tecnicos (the rule followers). The most famous luchador (fighter) of all time, El Santo, didn’t reveal his unmasked face until near his death in 1984.
  • When Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes landed on the shores of Mexico, the Aztecs thought he was a white god and welcomed him with what they thought was a heavenly beverage: hot chocolate.

Drivers’ social

Ricciardo and Instagram. Perfection: “Howdy. My spirit will not be broken. I will continue to dress to impress on the daily. That is all. Adios.”
A quick google translate tells us Sergio’s ready for the weekend: “The week of the most special GP of the year begins! They are ready?!!!”
Valtteri Bottas hanging out with celeb friend and Linkin Park co-founder Mike Shinoda

How to follow on BBC Sport

BBC Sport has live coverage of all the season’s races on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live online commentary on the BBC Sport website and mobile app – including audience interaction, expert analysis, debate, voting, features, interviews and video content.

Times BST until Sunday, 28 October when GMT begins. Broadcast times are subject to change at short notice.

Mexican Grand Prix coverage details
Date Session Time Radio coverage Online text commentary
Thursday, 25 October Preview 20:00-20:30 BBC Radio 5 live
Friday, 26 October First practice 15:55-17:35 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 15:30
Second practice 19:55-21:05 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 19:30
Saturday, 27 October Final practice 16:30-17:05 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra From 16:30 (continuous)
Qualifying 18:55-20:05 BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
Sunday, 28 October Race 18:30-21:00 (GMT) BBC Radio 5 live From 17:00
Monday, 29 October Review 04:30-05:00 BBC Radio 5 live

Source BBC News

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