Gunther Steiner presenting the Mexico City weekend had joked about the possibility of seeing in soon pole position his rookies in Haas Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin due to the penalties on the starting grid discounted by the other drivers due to the introduction of extra components with respect to those provided by the regulation as regards the engines.
In Austin, Texas Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and George Russell found themselves at the bottom of the starting grid due to new power units beyond the three allowed by the regulations. As reported by the German newspaper Auto Motor und Sport in Mexico it will be up to Alonso and Vettel’s box mates to face the same fate as the ‘captains’ in the United States. Esteban Ocon for sure will start from the back of the starting grid and the same is expected with regard to Lance Stroll.
Even some big names, however, could experience the beginning of the weekend with the awareness of having to face the race with a comeback. Lando Norris of McLaren could be forced to sprint from the back of the grid, a hard blow for the Woking team engaged in the fight with Ferrari for the conquest of third place in the constructors’ standings (the two teams are divided by 3.5 points). Doubts about whether or not to serve a penalty also involve Lewis Hamilton, second at -12 from Max Verstappen. In the United States, in fact, Valtteri Bottas has introduced a further new thermal engine – ICE – incurring the third penalty on the starting grid in the last four races. The Mexico City circuit appears particularly unfavorable to Mercedes against Red Bull, possibly more reason to avert the specter of a technical knockout for reliability reasons by accepting the fact of having to limit the damage in Mexico by starting even further back than expected.
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