Grand Prix

Mexico City Grand Prix, History and Winners

In this article, we’ll cover the subject of Mexico City Grand Prix, History and Winners, and all that follows the events on this track. This auto-race is held at the famous race-track called Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, which is located in Mexico capital, Mexico City. The first race here was organized in 1962 before it was officially introduced as a championship track.

The Mexico City race wasn’t held every year but with interruptions from 1963-1970, then again from 1986-1992. The last time it was back on the schedule was in 2015, and it is still actual today.

The Beginnings

The first race in Mexico was held in 1962 at the Magdalena Mixhuca circuit on November 4th. This was the first Grand Prix of Mexico, and it attracted attention from all parts of the world. The course was design modeled on the Monza track in Milan. It was built in the center of Mexico City around a park.

This track was always held late in October, and it was regarded as a season finale. The race itself was truly interesting, with the road having dangerous corners such was Peraltada at the end of the lap, and the attitude as high as 2.240 meters. It was also seen as one of the bumpiest roads in the racing caravan.

Before it became an official championship race, it was won by Team Lotus. The driver on the day for them was Jim Clark. The track had a tragic start to its life as a young Mexican driver Ricardo Rodríguez died during the practice in an accident. This moment was only the first of misfortunate events that were tied to this track.

The next year Magdalena Mixhuca hosted Formula One World Championship, which was also won by Clark. In 1964 the championship was one by Surtees in drivers category while Constructors’ Championship was won by Ferrari. 1965 was the year of Honda as their driver Richie Ginther took the win, which was also their first win ever in any racing championship.

In 1967 the familiar face of Clark was once again on the podium as he won his third medal at this track. No one managed to reach his numbers in Mexico event o this day. At the moment, two drivers have the chance to tie his score but more about them below.

During the 1968 championship, the race for Drivers winner wasn’t settled until the Mexico Grand Prix, with three drivers having a chance to lift the trophy. In the end, it was a battle between Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. Eventually, Hill came out as the winner and took home his second championship.

The track was eventually abandoned because there was no chance of controlling the crowd at this venue, as in 1970, almost 200,000 people tried to attend. Those who managed threw bottles onto the track, and at one point, we even had a dog running across the race track and getting hit by a vehicle.

Moving to Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

There were attempts to bring F1 back to Mexico before 1986, but all of them went unsuccessful. It wasn’t before the track was edited, Peraltada’s banking was made easier to exit, and the entire circuit was made safer for both drivers and the audience.

After this was achieved, the world’s biggest caravan was back, and Benetton’s Gerhard Berger managed to win the first race in 1986. In 1987 Nigel Mansell managed to win ahead of his teammate Nelson Piquet.

During the 1988 season, the race underwent its most significant change to date. The date was moved from October back to May when it’s rain season in Mexico. The reason was the scheduling of other North American Grand Prix’s, Montreal and Detroit. Both 1988 and 1989 Grand Prix’s were won by McLaren by Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, respectively.

In 1990 we had another shift of date, and the race was moved to June. This was no issue for Prost, who managed to win yet again. The next year was marked by Ayrton Senna accident who crashed on Peraltada during training laps. He had a couple of accidents on this track, so we hope he had proper insurance as the one you can get if you click here. He recovered for the race and finished in third place.

During this period, the organizers of the race found it hard to fund the race, and FISA asked them to improve the track and the organization, which was all achieved for the 1992 season. During this year, the race was moved to March, which resulted in the highest ever recorded pollution in Mexico City. Despite the fact that its organizers managed to make the race possible. But, it wasn’t enough for F1 to keep coming to Mexico. After the debate, and driver’s complaints about bumps, and growth in population in Mexico City, Formula 1 left this country.

F1 Mexico Hiatus

The only races that were held at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez during the period from 1993-2014 were those of Champ Cars, which started in 2002. These were held in the following six years, and mainstay champion was Sébastien Bourdais, who won three of the six races. In 2003 there were talks about a new track that would be built in Cancun.

The cost of the new circuit was rumored to be around $70 million. There was also a name in play, which was Mantarraya. They planned to have F1 back in Mexico in 2006. This didn’t happen, but a new hope was instigated by Bernie Ecclestone, who said that F1 would be back in Mexico in 2009, but nothing ever came out of this.

The F1 Mexico Return

The plans to get F1 back to Mexico were revealed in 2011. Back then, in 2014 was when the caravan should be back in Mexico. This didn’t happen, and instead, the following year was the date of the final F1 return to Mexico City.

Mexico Grand Prix was back on November 1st of 2015. This race was one by Mercedes and their driver Nico Rosberg. After him, the race had only two winners in four runs. They were Max Verstappen in 2017 and 2018 and Lewis Hamilton in 2016 and 2019.

With the information we have now, this race will be on schedule, at least until 2022.