5 Drivers who need a good Mexican GP today
The last time a Mexican Grand Prix was held, it’s rather interesting to note, Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda weren’t even F1 drivers.
Now that one of the most-anticipated F1 races is back, it would be interesting to see what happens in the 71-lap contest. That’s more so for the drivers championship still hangs on the knife’s edge even as Verstappen is out in the lead.
But where it comes to the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix, that’s not the case, for the one who’s out in the lead is neither F1’s “Mad Max,” nor the meastero Sir Lewis Hamilton.
With Bottas capturing his nineteenth career pole and Mercedes locking out the front row in Mexico, it seems that we have ahead of us a closely fought duel between the Black Arrows and the Bulls.
But having said that, which drivers need to have a strong Mexican Grand Prix?
1. Sergio Perez
The fact that a local hero doesn’t shine in his home race always stands out albeit not as the strongest point- right? In that regard, that Perez has never even been on the podium at his home race serves the Red Bull driver that extra bit of motivation to deliver a strong Mexican Grand Prix.
But in order to do that, the in-form driver, fresh from a P3 at Austin, USA will have to battle hard and that too, against a fighting troika of the two Mercedes’ as well as his own teammate, Max Verstappen.
That said, should the 31-year-old driver manage to step onto the podium, he’d have completed his first hat-trick of podiums in the ongoing season (P3 each at Istanbul and COTA).
2. Yuki Tsunoda
The young Japanese driver, who bounced back to some bit of form at the US Grand Prix given his P9, having lost it for good measure for much of the season, will be keen to improve here at Mexico.
But that’s also because Yuki Tsunoda currently finds himself sixteenth on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix. To make matters worse, the rookie F1 driver found himself in the centre of the storm after he was allegedly called out for compromising Verstappen’s final Q3 run as Red Bull singled out Tsunoda for something he should perhaps not have been blamed for.
What was clear- if not significantly so- was that Tsunoda, in his final qualifying run, wasn’t really setting a flying lap but instead helping Gasly by giving him the slipstream.
Yet, that he went off the track only to see Perez follow him, which in turn, led to Max backing off didn’t help anyone’s cause and resultantly, led to others calling out Tsunoda for the gaffe, which wasn’t even one in the first place!
A strong performance at the Mexican GP will only aid the young driver who has massive talent. But can Yuki deliver a strong drive at the upcoming race?
3. Lando Norris
The marvelous talent who took pole for the Russian GP and in the process, stunned one and all, including Sir Lewis Hamilton, hasn’t really been in sensational form in the events that have since happened.
Take the Turkish GP and the US GP where the young British driver finished eighth and seventh, respectively.
Now that Norris has copped a penalty for a power unit change, he begins his Mexican drive from the rearend of the grid.
Can that ever be a fine position to begin any race from?
A fine run by Norris at the 2021 Mexican GP will do two things- it’ll help McLaren, fighting hard with Ferrari in the Constructor battle, gather useful points and will also boost the confidence of a driver who’s won everyone’s hearts given his talent.
Mind you, he’s also the same talent who really needs to find his groove especially where recent results stand as mentioned above.
4. Antonio Giovinazzi
Time’s running out for Antonio Giovinazzi, who’s yet to find his name announced for the 2022 season (or possibly beyond) by his Alfa Romeo racing team.
It’s imperative for the Italian driver’s confidence to get an F1 seat, should he harbour hopes of etching a bold racing career at the top annals.
One saw the Martina Franca-born drive an ace of a race at COTA recently where despite Alonso’s mighty assault at the midfield, the long locked bloke kept fighting back.
In the end, a rare error from Kimi allowed Giovinazzi to take eleventh, but even that wasn’t the most ideal result for the man who is still sitting on a solitary point in the 2021 campaign.
Can that change at Mexico? Can we expect a strong drive from the very driver who needs to prove his doubters wrong and contest a strong contest in Perez-land?
It’s all to play for one of the nicest and often, under-appreciated drivers on the grid at the Mexico GP
To make things better, the Italian starts the 71-lap run from P11.
5. Lewis Hamilton
It’s not always that a legend of the sport like Hamilton finds his name on a list that lists drivers who need to do better than they are. But then, if the defending world champion expects to bring home an eighth world title, he will have to deliver a strong Mexican Grand Prix.
That Sir Lewis Hamilton can do anything possible on his day is beyond doubt but whether that’ll actually happen at Mexico will be down to the fact that Hamilton will find in his front mirrors a Mercedes to beat whilst having two-not one- Red Bulls in his rearview mirrors.
The last time that Hamilton won the Mexican GP was back in 2019, so a return to the top step of the podium will be an ideal step forward for the great Briton. And that’ll only help his chances at taking a new world title for even as Max finishes P3, the Dutchman will still maintain lead over the Mercedes stalwart.