The Formula One circus descends on Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez this weekend for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team put an end to the Mercedes dominance at the Circuit of the Americas last time out to stretch his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 12 points. We take a look at the front runners for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Verstappen the one to beat

Max Verstappen had a huge weekend in Austin in the last race, beating Mercedes in both qualifying and the race, creating a larger margin between him and his championship rival Lewis Hamilton. This week they head to a track where Red Bull are historically much more competitive. The team won the Grand Prix there consecutively in 2017 and 2018, with Verstappen finishing on the top step of the podium both times. If the Dutchman was to win here again, he’d hold the record for most F1 Mexican GP wins (3).

The Dutchman has a very positive record here and has finished inside the points in every race he’s participated in. Verstappen also has a quality qualifying record, finishing on the front row in each of the last three Mexican GPs. He’s 8/13 to be the fastest qualifier this Saturday and is 8/13 to become the most successful driver at the Grand Prix and win his ninth race of the season. Well fancied for both a success on Saturday and a success on Sunday, he’s 11/10 to be the fastest qualifier and the race winner.

With Verstappen’s previous at the track and the form he’s currently in, he looks like he’s the man to beat this Sunday.

Hamilton aiming to close the gap

Lewis Hamilton is watching as the championship slowly drifts towards Max Verstappen. However, there is still five Grand Prix races remaining, including this weekend in Mexico City.

Similarly to Verstappen, Hamilton has an impressive record at the Mexican Grand Prix. He also has two victories to his name (2016, 2019) and has finished in the points in every single race. He has also secured two of his seven World Championships at the track. A track he knows well, he’ll be aiming no lower than the top step of the podium on Sunday. He’s currently the second favourite in the market, priced at 9/4 to take his second pole position at the track.

The Mercedes outfit are one of the most successful teams at the Mexican GP, having won the race three times, with seven podiums and two pole positions to their name. If they win their fourth, they will become the most successful constructor at the event, and Lewis Hamilton is 9/4 to do just that.

Will Pérez and Bottas be crucial to teams’ success?

With the championship being a two-horse race, it leaves Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to help their teammates throughout the Grand Prix. Team orders could be critical in the latter stages of the race if it gets to them, so a race win may be out of the question if their respected team-mate is close behind.

However, both teams would ideally like to put both of their cars in front of their rivals to maximise their chances. This will be Pérez’s first home Grand Prix in the Red Bull seat and his best finish here is seventh place. He’ll have a mountain of support throughout the weekend from the home fans, which could spur him on for a second consecutive podium finish (8/11).

The more aggressive tactics may come from Mercedes, given that they are chasing the title. This, of course, all depends on how their qualifying goes. Bottas enjoyed a solid run of form after signing his Alfa Romeo contract until he had to take a grid penalty at the US Grand Prix. He could be a big player this weekend and is 15/8 for a podium finish.

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