Double Mexico Winner Verstappen Expecting ‘More Difficult’ 2019 Race Due to Ferrari Pace

by Paul Hensby

Max Verstappen arrives at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend eyeing up a third consecutive win at the track, but the Dutchman is wary of the threat from Scuderia Ferrari, whom he feels will be hard to beat.

The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver was victorious in Mexico in both 2017 and 2018, with Verstappen believing the team can have another good race this year, although he believes that both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will be strong contenders for the win due to the straight-line pace advantage of the Ferrari power unit.

Verstappen will at least be looking for a return to the podium this weekend after standing on it only once since the summer break, which came as a result of a third-place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix.  He retired from the Japanese Grand Prix last time out due to damage caused by a first lap collision with Leclerc.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Mexico as the last two years have been pretty special there with the two wins,” said Verstappen.  “The Mexican Grand Prix is a great event and the fans are very passionate about Formula 1.

“The people are very friendly and they have a relaxed kind of mentality which I like, plus the food is really good. There are massive crowds at the race and the atmosphere at the track with the mariachi bands, the DJ’s on the podium and everything else the organisers put on is pretty cool.

“I really enjoy driving there as well as the track is very different as it’s at high altitude which makes it low grip. The corners are also very technical so you have to work hard to make sure you get the best out of it but it’s a good track for us normally.

“I expect it to be a little bit more difficult this year because of the Ferrari pace but I think we can still have a very good race.”

Team-mate Alexander Albon arrives in Mexico on the back of his best result of the season to date, with a fighting drive to fourth at the Suzuka International Racing Course.  The Thai driver has never experienced the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track before, but he hopes to carry the momentum from Japan into this weekend and bring another good haul of points home for both himself and the team.

“After getting my best result of the season in Japan last week, I’ve got good confidence and direction heading to Mexico,” said Albon.  “Japan felt like my best weekend with the Team and we’re gelling more and more so I look forward to carrying that momentum into Mexico.

“Historically it’s been a good track for Red Bull with pole position and a win there last year so obviously that’s positive. Like Suzuka, it will be another new track for me but this one looks a little more forgiving!

“I’m also really excited to drive in the infield section where all the fans are as I’ve heard that’s pretty special. Mexico and the US will be the last back to back races of the season and I can’t wait to get out there and check out both tracks.”

Alexander Albon is eyeing his maiden Formula 1 podium this weekend in Mexico – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

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