Mexican Grand Prix: Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (Victor Pineda /

One of the most colourful and celebrated races of the year undoubtedly comes from that of Mexico City, where the Mexican Grand Prix takes place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. The track is pretty dynamic in that it offers something for everyone and is a highly exciting race.

The site within Mexico City and with it is raced at the back end of October. The races that take place are often Championship deciders or thereabouts, which adds another level of excitement to the track. As it’s late October date is the end of the rainy season in Mexico, the conditions are often very good, with temperatures around the mid 20’s, although they have been known to jump as high as 40 degrees for some races. There are very few rainy days this time of year, so rarely affected by the poor weather. 


Swap Start/End

Circuit Info

Location Length Corners Capacity Year Opened
Mexico City 4.304km 17 110,000 1962

Circuit Layout

F1 Mexico Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Track Map

The first thing that many people note about the race is that it’s at almost 7,500 feet above sea level. This means that the air can be very thing and often you will see drivers struggle with the mix of altitude and the potentially high heats. 

But, the altitude also affects how the cars perform as well. One of the key elements to how the F1 cars work is the intake of air for both cooling and the downforce it provides. Given that it’s so thin and therefore lack of air, it makes cars tough to set up and the race is synonymous for engine failures as a result. 

Another key feature of the track is that it includes a number of banked corners, none larger than that of turn 17 (The Peraltada). The corner would be extremely fast without the banking, but with it adds an almost slingshot affect similar to that you would find in NASCAR. The corner has been the scene of some ugly crashes though, with one of the most notable being that of Pedro Rodriguez, for whom the track is partially named after. 

After this corner the cars fly along the pit straight. At 1.2km it’s the longest straight on the track and also allows drivers to enable DRS. The track allows cars to get up to around 200mph.

The work carried out in 2015 by Hermann Tilke has drastically transformed how the track performs, even though changes were relatively subtle in terms of how the track changed. One of the changes was removing the sweeping corner at the end of the pit straight and instead adding in a couple of tighter turns to promote overtaking. Given the severity of the turns, it often catches drivers out and is an exciting vantage point for many fans. 

Turns 7 to 13 also saw a fair amount of remodelling as well and whilst once one of the iconic parts of the track promoting smooth speed, the removal of the high kerbs means that it allows drivers to carry a little more speed and be more aggressive in how much of the corner they can cut. 

The 4.304km track makes it one of the shortest on the calendar, but it was predicted that the thin air at altitude would mean that engines aren’t able to function as well. It was predicted that the turbo engines would struggle, allowing them to reach speeds of around 204mph. But, the introduction of the new hybrid engines has eliminated that somewhat, often with cars being clocked at nearer 230mph. 

Recent Winners

YearDriverCarFastest Lap
2017 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.18.892
2016 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.22.596
2015 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.20.521

Other Racing at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

Grand-Am Rolex Series
Grand-Am Rolex Series (oxido1180 /

Since the doors to the circuit officially opened in 1962 a whole manner of different types of racing has occurred on the track. It’s worth noting that the design actually includes two layouts, one of which being an oval course that promotes races such as NASCAR. But, this extension of the track also allows organisers to come up different layouts for different race types. 

Some of the races include World Endurance Championship, World Series Formula V8 3.5, CART/Champ Car World series, NASCAR Infinity Series, Porsche Super Cup, Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series, A1 Grand Prix, NACAR PEAK Mexico Series, FIA Formula E Championship and the FIA World Sports car Championship. 


1966 Mexican Grand Prix
1966 Mexican Grand Prix (The Henry Ford /

The track was originally made in 1962 and the same year was able to host the Formula One Grand Prix, albeit as a non-Championship race. The circuit was developed in the middle of a park in Mexico City and was built in order to accommodate the success that motor racing was seeing through both North and South America at the time. 

Safety Concerns

It wasn’t until a year later in 1963 when they officially hosted the Mexican Grand Prix and at the time become a full championship event at the race circuit. It hosted races until 1970, but as the popularity of the sport increased, so did the number of people wanting to get in on the action. Overcrowding was starting to become a massive issue and due to safety corners, the race was pulled in 1970.


It didn’t reopen again until some 16 years later, when in 1986 the track was able to get much needed funds to create a new pit lane and also safety measures for both drivers and fans. However, the stay was once again short lived and eventually removed from the roster in 1992 when corners over track conditions and the pollution around Mexico City grew increasingly unsafe. 

The third comeback of the track was announced in 2012, when it was set to replace that of the European Grand Prix held in Valencia. But, due to funding and not being able to get both the track and infrastructure around the race up to scratch it was postponed. 

Famous Racers

It didn’t officially comeback until the 2015 season where the track were able to sign a 5 year deal with Bernie Ecclestone, the then head of the FIA. The return of the track has been one that was greeted with open arms by the drivers who state that it’s one of the most exciting circuits to drive in the calendar. Since its return the race has seen three different winners in the form of Nico Rosberg (2015), Lewis Hamilton (2016) and Max Verstappen (2017).