Mexico Grand Prix: echoes from the paddock

An atypical circuit, that of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez with an altitude beyond 2,200m, but it is among those offering a real technical challenge for the pilots. The Mexico Grand Prix has been extended for 3 more years on the F1 calendar.

With the stands already full on Friday, it is almost obvious that we are heading for a record crowd this weekend.

Mexico, the echoes of the paddock

A deadline for Haas

Haas has finally set a deadline for appointing Kevin Magnussen’s teammate for 2023, which will be before Abu Dhabi. Gene Haas, warned before Austin that only a series of points at the finish would allow Schumacher to secure a steering wheel. Mick said on Thursday he was trying to ignore speculation about his future for now, but even Ralf Schumacher (his uncle) admits a gap year and reserve seat is a possibility.

At least the certainty is now nearly over, with Steiner setting a deadline for the pilot decision. « In Abu Dhabi, we want to know who will be driving our car next year »Steiner said. « Then that driver can also do the practice after the final. »

Mick Schumacher in the paddock at the 2022 Mexico GP

© LAT Images / Haas – Mick Schumacher

Williams has a plan B for its 2023 pilot

The British team have told Austin that Nicholas Latifi will be replaced next year by American F2 driver Logan Sargeant, but only if he obtains a Super Licence. That seems likely, especially as the 21-year-old is currently third overall in Formula 2 and is due to do two more free practice sessions for Williams before the end of the season. of F1, in Mexico and Abu Dhabi.

But if Sargeant doesn’t succeed, Capito has a backup plan. « There will be other drivers who will not have a contract »did he declare. « There are very good drivers who have a great license, so it will be fine. »

Alex Albon in his Williams at his box at the 2022 Mexico GP

© LAT Images / Williams – Alex Albon

Tensions between Alonso and Hamilton

Alonso split a media outlet with the Dutch press extolling the merits of Verstappen’s titles compared to those of Hamilton, less glorious according to the Spaniard. « I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but it’s still different when you win seven world titles when you’ve only had to fight with your teammate »said Alonso.

« I never had to fight with my teammate to win my titles »said the winner of the 2005 and 2006 drivers’ championship. « I also haven’t seen Max fight with Pérez or Albon to win races. » Then faced with this generated controversy, Alonso attacked the media, which he describes as journalists in search of buzz.

And he tried to put out the fire by posting a post on Twitter: « Please all the titles are amazing, well-deserved and inspiring. Incomparable to each other and let’s enjoy the champions and legends of our present times. » And Lewis Hamilton to publish a slightly sarcastic if not mocking tweet.

Tensions between Verstappen and Hamilton

Max Verstappen, the 2021 and 2022 world champion, says he has heard that Lewis Hamilton could still blame him for the 2021 final. “People told me he never uses my name”said the Dutchman. « I was always taught to respect what people have achieved in sport. I have no problem with what Lewis has achieved. He is one of the best of all time. »

« I know it’s not just a dominant car story. It helps, we all know that, but you always have to beat your team-mate first. But you also have to recognize the amazing job the drivers do. » However, he indicated that his and Hamilton’s personalities are very different when it comes to any aspect of their Formula 1 success and stardom.

« I never wanted to be known. I wish I could walk around and no one would know me »said the Red Bull driver. « I’m not here to be liked and that’s not going to ruin my day. I’m having a lot of fun with my team. People can say what they want, but I’m here to perform. »

Drivers' conference with Russell, Verstappen and Hamilton at the 2022 Mexico GP

© Red Bull Racing – Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Verstappen boycotts Sky Sports in Mexico

After Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz referenced Lewis Hamilton allegedly having the title stolen in 2021, Max Verstappen reportedly refused to appear on the channel during the Mexico City Grand Prix weekend. Verstappen’s boycott of British channel Sky Sports and its German and Italian affiliates comes after inglorious statements by Ted Kravitz.

« Hamilton doesn’t win a race all year, and finally comes back to a circuit where he could win the first race of the year, going up against the same guy who won the race he was robbed at the year before. , and manages to finish ahead of him », said Kravitz at the last United States Grand Prix. Earlier in the US Grand Prix weekend, Kravitz also referred to Verstappen not winning titles in the « normal way » after the Suzuka hiccup.

Max Verstappen on the grid after his pole at the 2022 Mexico GP

© Red Bull Racing (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Alonso’s penalty for his mirror, a « joke » according to Grosjean

Following Haas’ protest and the penalty imposed on Alpine and Alpine, the Enstone team lodged a protest, winning the case. Ex-Haas driver Grosjean calling latest episode involving Alonso a « joke ».

« By wanting to do too well, I think the FIA ​​is unnecessarily complicating its task and finding itself more and more in untenable situations »the IndyCar driver told L’Equipe. « First there was the Suzuka Crane, where instead of just saying ‘We made a mistake’, they came up with a whole ultra-complex procedure that won’t make decisions any smoother. »

Dietrich Mateschitz has come to terms with his terminally ill fate

Red Bull empire Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz died on October 22 but had come to terms with his fate by refusing aggressive treatment and instead decided to live out his final days in the idyllic setting of Auhof am Wolfgangsee.

This is what the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitun states: « When the inevitable end became apparent, he did not want to return to the clinic »said correspondent Hans Peter Hasenohrl. « He accepted his fate and moved to Auhof am Wolfgangsee, which he acquired a few years ago. A long lake shore, dense forest all around, a magnificent view of the waves and the mountains around the Bleckwand. « 

Bottas would like to be part of the big Audi project

Valtteri Bottas isn’t ruling out staying in Formula 1 long enough to profit from Audi’s decision to enter the sport from 2026. « I’m going to be 37, so why not? Super talented young people are always coming now, but experience has always been valued in Formula 1 »did he declare.

Bottas reportedly joined Sauber this year on a two-year deal plus an option for 2024. It’s too early for Audi to enter in 2026, but Bottas believes the collaboration could start to kick off before then. “It would be interesting to be involved in this process, if possible”he admitted. « I don’t see any obstacle to us reaching the same level as the top teams. »

« The production side should be faster than now in order for the desired changes to be made »did he declare. « Looking at the big picture, I think the collaboration between Sauber and Audi has great potential. I think any driver, especially me since I’m already here, would love to be part of the project. But from 2024, their support will decide a lot. If Audi helps and supports Sauber for several years, then if their power unit is strong and reliable in 2026, anything is possible. »

Valtteri Bottas in the fan zone at the 2022 Mexico GP

© Alfa Romeo / Valtteri Bottas

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