Mexico City GP: Preview - Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN heads to Mexico City for the 20th round of the Formula One World Championship.

After a challenging weekend in Austin, in which the C42s showed a step forward in pace but couldn't deliver on a points finish, the team is called to tackle the unique circumstances of the Mexican Grand Prix.

All that could be said about the race in Mexico has been said. It's one of the great events in the calendar, one of those that deliver fun on and off the track; it's a race where fans of all ages, children, grown men, abuelitas, show all their love, passion and excitement - and not only if your name is Checo - where the Mariachi, the piņatas, the Cempasuchil flowers create a party atmosphere from the moment you step in the paddock. It's an event in extreme conditions, with the bumpy surface and thin air being a challenge for the mechanical parts of the car, the power units and the drivers themselves, who battle the lack of downforce despite Monaco-style wings.

It's a race that asks a lot from teams and drivers alike: not as physical as Singapore, but coming late in the season, when energies are low and the finish line in sight. It's an event that punishes mistakes, with its old-school track ready to bite. These are conditions for true fighters.

And then - then there's the championship battle. The team approaches Mexico ready to put up a hell of a fight to retain sixth place in the constructors' standings. The last few events have been tough, our lead over our rivals all but eroded. But we're not giving up: not until the final corner of the final lap of the final race.

All it takes is the will to fight. Like in the most classic stories of Mexican wrestling lore, the hero looks defeated - until the fortunes change. We'll aim for this plot twist. For us, Mexico won't be about the Catrinas, the tacos and the temples. This year, we choose to go for the fighters. Masks on, we're calling for the Luchador in all of us.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "We undoubtedly expected more from last weekend: the race pace was promising, and it seemed like points were within reach for us, but eventually things didn't go our way. Heading back on track right away, we have the opportunity to turn the tide and continue working on our performances, which have been improving with the upgrades we brought in Japan and Austin. Mexico will be, as usual, a challenging race due to the altitude and the peculiarities of the track, so we must be at our very best to avoid making mistakes. We know our cars have the potential to get into Q3, and that should be our aim ahead of the weekend, to put ourselves in a favourable position to get in the fight for points and secure our place in the championship."

Valtteri Bottas: "I am looking forward to being back in Mexico this week: it is one of the most energetic races on the calendar, the fans' enthusiasm is incredible, they're so passionate about Formula One. I've stood on the podium here three times in the past, and it's always an unbelievable experience. Looking back to Austin, it was pretty disappointing to finish the race that way, as our pace looked promising, and we may have had solid chances for a points finish. Nevertheless, a new race week offers new opportunities, and it's up to us to make the best out of them, do our job on track, and get into the top ten at the chequered flag."

Zhou Guanyu: "I've always wanted to race here in Mexico, and I can't wait to finally be on track, yet another one for me to properly get to know. The atmosphere and the fans' passion for the sport seem great, and I'm looking forward to experiencing that this week. I was a bit gutted to come back from the race in Austin with no points in the bag, as the pace was there throughout the weekend, and we could've built something on that. It will be important to adapt quickly to the track and to its peculiar conditions, to be at the top of our game from the start of the weekend and carry on the momentum into the race. We got proof in Texas that our cars can make it into Q3, so if we do our homework well, we can achieve that and get in the mix for points on Sunday."

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Published: 26/10/2022
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