Hold your breath... Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is high! In fact, it is the highest circuit on the F1 calendar at over 2km above sea level. Why does this matter? Well, the thinner air at altitude means there is less downforce, less drag and less air for the engines to breathe which offers a very unique challenge for F1 teams. The circuit has not changed that much since 1959, with the biggest change being at the end of the lap. Now you drive through the middle of the old Foro Sol baseball stadium, a very special experience.
Sector 3 in Mexico City has changed a lot in recent years. The spectacular layout takes you through the middle of the old Foro Sol baseball stadium which makes for a highly unique section of track. Then comes the famous Peraltada to finish the lap, though not as perilous as it once was, it still provides a challenge for any driver.
Turn 12: Entry
Following the quick burst of DRS, you will find yourself at Turn 12. Get the car over to the left of the circuit and straddle the entry kerb so that your car has all four tyres on the tarmac for the best braking grip.
Hit the brakes just after you go underneath the lightbox at 100m and continue to straddle the kerb in a straight line as long as possible. As you do this remember to downshift smoothly to 3rd gear.
Turn 12: Apex
For the apex of Turn 12, aim for the flat part of the kerb in 3rd gear so that you miss the orange sausage kerb. This will keep the car stable and therefore give you the best control of the car.
Trailbrake into the corner from a wide line so that you reach 0% braking by the time you get to the apex. At this point, you can then begin to slowly reapply throttle after the kerb.
Open up the steering and aim for the exit kerb to carry the speed.
Turn 12: Exit
To carry all the speed out of Turn 12, run the car all the way out to straddle the exit kerb, aiming to reach full throttle as you get there.
Begin to unwind the steering and point the car towards the lightbox on the right to set up for T13. Short-shift up to 4th gear on the exit to minimise wheelspin. You are about to enter the Foro Sol stadium section.
Turn 13 (Foro Sol)
For Turn 13, point the car towards the entry kerb on the right and hit the brakes just before you get there. Clip the entry kerb as you begin to turn into the apex, trailbraking as you do.
Come fully off the brakes by the time you have reached the apex and shift down to 1st gear to help rotate the car.
Make a late apex and get as close as you can to the sausage kerb without touching it. Build to about 50% power, double shift up to 3rd gear and hug the inside on exit to open up Turn 14.
Turn 14 (Foro Sol)
Coming out of the previous corner build the throttle to about 50% and hold it there through Turn 14 until you pass the apex. You should be in 3rd gear.
Take the apex kerb but miss the sausage as normal. After the kerb, begin to increase the power and let the car drift out towards the full kerb of T15.
Turn 15 (Foro Sol)
Consider Turn 15 as both the exit of T14 and the entry of T16. By the time you reach the kerb, you should have reached full throttle. Just make sure that you get that steering straight as you will still have low grip on the kerb and it could make you lose the rear.
The kerb is very flat so you can use all of it as long as you remain within track limits. Continue to straddle the kerb all the way to T16 and shift up to 4th gear before you get there.
Turn 16 (Peraltada)
The penultimate corner (Turn 16) takes us back onto the latter part of the old Peraltada corner, which used to be a little perilous, to say the least.
Aim for a wide entry into a late apex for the best exit speed. Shift down to 2nd gear, clip just the middle part of the kerb to avoid breaking traction and then get back on throttle pretty soon after.
Avoid running out as far as the exit kerb and then stay tight to the right towards T17 to shorten the route. Because you are tightening the exit it is important to be progressive with the throttle as you will need to apply power with some steering lock still applied. Short-shifting can help with this.
Turn 17 (Peraltada)
Turn 17 completes the lap at Mexico City. This one is simple. Just take it flat out in 6th/7th and hold tight to the inside. Take all of the flat kerb and hug the pit wall if you are on a timed lap.