Force India preview the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, Round 19 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
Sergio Perez: “Racing in Mexico is the highlight of the season for me. The excitement each time we go back there is the same. When I see the busy grandstands, I feel very proud and the support from the people is fantastic. The energy of the crowd really motivates me and the drivers’ parade is always a very emotional moment.
“It’s an extremely busy weekend for everybody: me, my team, the sponsors, but it’s still the best week of the entire season. To have my family and friends around me helps make this race even more special. I really want to give everybody a strong result to celebrate on Sunday.
“The circuit is a big challenge. Because of the altitude, the track is slippery with low grip levels and it’s very easy to make a mistake or lose time. The long straight is usually your best chance for overtaking, but with these cars it’s never easy to pass.”
Esteban Ocon: “The Mexico weekend is good fun. It’s a busy race for the team, of course, and we have quite a few events with partners during the week, so we get to see a bit of the city as well. It’s Checo’s home race so the whole team is busy from the moment we land!
“The atmosphere when you get to the track is special. Mexicans love sport and the passion they show for Formula One is incredible. The best part is to drive in the stadium section when the grandstands are full. I think all the drivers enjoy the buzz and emotions you get from such a massive crowd.
“It’s a good track to drive, but it’s a tough one. You’re at very high altitude and this really affects the set-up – it’s difficult to find a good balance. The cars are set up with high-downforce, but it feels like low downforce. You lack grip and the car feels very slippery, especially at the start of the weekend, but you soon get used to it.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO: “With just three races to go it’s important we keep picking up points as we try to chase down sixth place in the championship. It’s never easy in the middle of the grid and the pace of the teams around us is pretty similar, which means we need to deliver a perfect weekend to come out on top. Things didn’t go our way in Austin last Sunday for various reasons, but I think we can be more competitive in Mexico.
“Aside from the racing, the Mexico race always feels extra special for everybody in the team. There’s huge attention on Checo and we have several Mexican partners who carry out big activations across the city. The Mexican fans are some of the most passionate in the world and it makes for a fantastic event. Every year we go there and receive the same warm welcome. Mexico definitely shows Formula One at its best.”