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Formula 1

Wolff downplays Red Bull's previous form in Mexico: Anything is possible

Mercedes' Toto Wolff has said that this season shows the form book at individual venues can be torn up.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes' Toto Wolff has said the constant back-and-forth of this season shows that "anything is possible" despite the team's apparent disadvantage heading to Mexico.

In theory, Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will suit the Red Bulls a little better than Mercedes. This is due to the higher altitude conditions which sap engine power away, as well as forcing the teams to run much higher levels of downforce to compensate for the thinner air.

While Lewis Hamilton is the most recent winner of the Mexican GP, having won in 2019, this came about as a result of Max Verstappen being stripped of pole position for failing to slow for yellow flags after a dominant display in qualifying. The Dutch driver won the event with ease in 2017 and 2018.

"The last race in Texas was more proof of just how intense this championship battle is," Wolff said in his official preview of the Mexico City Grand Prix.

"It's challenging, it's pushing both teams to higher levels and the positive pressure we're putting on ourselves is making this a hugely enjoyable fight. We wouldn't have it any other way.

"Red Bull have gone well there in the past and it hasn't been our strongest circuit. But this year has shown that anything is possible and circuits where you were previously weak, you are suddenly strong, and vice versa.

"So, it adds a layer of unknown in the build-up, which only increases the excitement. We'll keep taking things race by race and preparing the best we can, and we'll land in Mexico ready to hit the ground running on Friday, get a good understanding of the car's performance and build from there."

Reflecting on the United States

Mercedes lost out against Red Bull at the Circuit of the Americas, with Hamilton defeated due to an aggressive strategy from Red Bull to get track position at the first round of pit-stops.

It was a particularly bitter loss for Mercedes, given that the combination of Mercedes and Hamilton have been so successful at the venue in the past. But it's this exact scenario that shows why the form book doesn't count for much, in Wolff's eyes.

"Lewis put together a perfectly executed charge on the alternative strategy, to try and snatch the win away from a very quick Max," he said.

"It wasn't enough in the end, but we know that we gave it our all and Lewis was relentless in his chase for the win.

"Valtteri [Bottas] drove very well after starting in a tricky position because of the grid penalty, which was the right call for us to make for the remaining five races. He gained positions, scored some good points and that was useful for us in the Constructors' battle."

Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th Grand Prix win to move into the championship lead, but it's Red Bull and Max Verstappen who will be happiest after the Russian Grand Prix.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

The latest news about the Mexico City Grand Prix straight from Mexico City.

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