What do you do when you encounter a long lost friend; one who has been gone for over two decades? Of course you will be overwhelmed with joy and you will embrace them warmly to show your affection. Well, The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Mexico GP is back to the F1 calendar after a 22 year hiatus.
Land of the Greats
Mexico is the land of thrilling action and you can bet even from the history of the original circuit that a lot of exhilarating moments were witnessed here. From Aryton Senna, Prost to Nigel Mansell, the best drivers always tried to prove their might in front of the enthusiastic crowd before the circuit was dropped.
Sages argue that you cannot tell where you are going if at all you don’t know where you are coming from. As an ardent Formula 1 buff, there is no better way of appreciating Mexico GP than by learning a bit of its history. Here are some highlights to give you some insight:
- Early years: The GRAN PREMIO DE MEXICO goes back to 1962 when it was held as a non-championship event at the Magdalena Mixhuca circuit. Jim Clark, the F1 legend, was to win, but signs of safety issues were already appearing with the death of Ricardo Rodriguez a Ferrari reserve driver.
- Real racing in Mexico: 1963 saw the arrival of F1 proper and Clark again won and in so doing broke a record held previously by another F1 legend Manuel Fangio for the most wins in a season.
- Drama at Magdalena Mixhuca: In 1964, Graham King, Surtees and Clark proudly arrived in Mexico all with a chance to win the championship. Clark took an early lead but on the final lap his car conked and Dan Gurney took the lead. Ferrari’s Surtees was third behind team mate Bandini, who was ordered to let him pass in order to win the championship.
- The King of Mexico GP is born, 1967: Clark took his 3rd win in the city to become the most successful driver to date in Mexico GP.
- Crowd trouble, 1970: Pedro Rodriguez was a darling of the Mexican racing enthusiasts and they wanted to see him in action. A first brother of Ricardo who had tragically died in 1962, he was an icon and the crowd proved too big to control. This heralded the first hiatus of Mexico GP from 1970 to 1986.
- Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, 1986: After reworking and remodeling the circuit to improve safety and driving, racing started again in 1986. Mansell, Piquet and Senna dominated this later era. However, financial trouble, track issues, Mexico City’s pollution and population pressure saw the circuit leave the calendar once more in 1992.
- Lotus the dominant car: Lotus is still the dominant car on this track with four constructors’ titles in 1962, 63, 67 and 68.
Now that FIA has approved the track for the 2015 calendar, you can only hope all regulations will be complied with. Just imagine having a weekend of double action at the Austin, US GP and then more race action at the The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez next weekend? The perfect plan for any racing fan!