After Texas last weekend, the Formula 1 championship is in Mexico this weekend for the 18th round of 2017. The venue is the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a circuit situated on the southwest side of Mexico’s capital city. Although Mexico had its first F1 race in 1963, the country has not been continuously included in the calendar every year due to various reasons, one of which was the track being deemed unsafe because of spectator overcrowding.
Mexico makes the most of hosting the F1 World Championship. After commissioning annual independent studies into the overall economic benefits that hosting the sport brings to the country, the race promoters were revealed that the 2016 event generated an economic impact for Mexico of US$652.2 million, a significant increase on 2015’s figure.
It has the second highest spectator attendance of any of the F1 rounds and gained US$47.7 million worth of prime trackside advertising for the Mexico brand alone.
The main technical challenge of the 4.3-km long circuit is not its layout but the geography of the land. At 2,200 metres above sea level, certain aspects of the cars’ performance are affected. In this era of turbocharged engines, power loss is not a problem compared to naturally-aspirated engines. But the lower atmospheric pressure – typically around 80% of what would be considered ‘normal’ for a F1 race – means that drag and downforce will be less.