F1: 2019 Mexican Grand Prix Preview
Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his team after winning the 2018 drivers' World Championship. (Photo credit: Clive Mason, Getty images)

Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of further success as he looks almost certain to edge into second place on the all-time drivers’ championships charts.

To lift number six in Mexico Hamilton must increase his current championship lead by 14 or more points, though if he finishes outside the top four it will roll on to the United States Grand Prix next month where the only driver with an outside chance of beating him to the title is Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas has been lagging behind his teammate throughout the season but remains his closest challenger even at 64-points behind.

The Mercedes team go into the weekend expecting a difficult race, with the remaining tracks on the calendar less suited to their car according to team principal Toto Wolff.

“The four remaining races are not going to be easy and we expect Mexico to be the most difficult”, said Wolff. “The high altitude of the track brings some fairly unusual challenges as the low air density affects the downforce of the car, the cooling and the engine performance.”

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Ferrari naturally head into the Mexican GP as favourites with straight-line speed essential on a track with one of the longest straights in Formula 1.

A resurgent Sebastian Vettel will be hoping to edge ahead of his teammate once again after finishing ahead of Charles Leclerc in two of the last three races.

The track

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit is 4.304km long and is raced over a distance of 305.354km over 71-laps.

It first hosted a grand prix in 1963, and was brought back into the modern calendar in 2015. In the summer it was confirmed that the Mexican Grand Prix would continue to be held in Mexico City until at least 2022.

The lap record is held by Bottas in 2018 after setting a time of 1.18.741 in the Mercedes last season.

Weather conditions could have a strong influence on the weekend with some forecasts suggesting as much as a 60% chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

What happened last year?

The 2018 Mexican GP will be remembered as the day Hamilton clinched his fifth World Championship as he finished in fourth place.

But as Hamilton celebrated a title, Max Verstappen recorded back-to-back victories in Mexico in dominant fashion as the race victory seemed certain from lights-out.

Vettel couldn’t keep his championship hopes alive with a second placed finish ahead of current Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen who rounded off the podium positions.

Further down the field Nico Hulkenberg finished best of the rest ahead of Leclerc in one of the many strong points finishes that helped earn him a seat at Ferrari this season.

Sergio Perez was unfortunate to DNF at his home race in the Force India, where he will be hoping for greater success this weekend in the Racing Point.

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When can I watch it?

Friday

Free practice 1: 16:00 – 17:30

Free practice 2: 20:00 – 21:30

Saturday

Free practice 3: 16:00 -17:00

Qualifying: 19:00 – 20:00

Sunday

Race: 19:10

All times UK.

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