Esteban Ocon will race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the first time since 2018 this weekend, with the Alpine F1 Team driver excited to return to the venue of the Mexico City Grand Prix.
The Frenchman missed the 2019 event as he sat out the season after losing his seat with the Racing Point Formula One Team, while the 2020 race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ocon says the track in the capital city of Mexico is a good one, and even though they will be running a high downforce set-up, the altitude will make it feel like they have low downforce levels, with the speed down the start/finish straight amongst the fastest of the year.
“It’s always cool to visit Mexico City as it’s quite an electric place,” said Ocon. “There’s a nice buzz there when Formula 1 visits and we haven’t been there for a couple of years so I’m sure the atmosphere is going to be special this year.
“In between Austin and here, I spent a little bit of time on holiday in Mexico and it’s a great place. After a short rest, I’m feeling fresh and ready to take on this weekend.
“The circuit is a good one to race at. It’s pretty tough for a number of reasons but mainly because of the high altitude, which affects the power unit and finding a good set-up. Actually, the cars are set to high downforce, but it feels like it’s low downforce because of the conditions.”
“The stadium section of the track is like no other on the calendar” – Fernando Alonso
Team-mate Fernando Alonso says the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a fun track to drive, with the atmosphere around the circuit always great thanks to the passionate Mexican fans.
The Spaniard says the final sector at the track reminds him of a football stadium as they race through a former baseball stadium, but on track, he is expecting a hot race with many stresses being put through the car.
“It’s another fun track where there are good overtaking opportunities and a very long straight,” said Alonso. “We go to another race where the atmosphere is great, and the stadium section of the track is like no other on the calendar.
“I love football and it reminds me a lot of a football stadium when you are in that final sector. It’s usually a hot race and the altitude is high, so it puts huge stresses on us and the car.”