Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
|Location||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Time zone||UTC-6, (DST: UTC-5)|
FIA Formula One
|Grand Prix Circuit (2015–current)|
|Length||4.421 km (2.747 mi)|
|Grand Prix Circuit (2002–2014)|
|Length||4.484 km (2.786 mi)|
|Lap record||1:24.713 (Robert Doornbos, Minardi Team USA, 2007, Champ Car World Series)|
|Grand Prix Circuit (1986–2001)|
|Length||4.421 km (2.747 mi)|
|Lap record||1:16.788 (Nigel Mansell, Williams Renault FW14, 1991, FIA Formula One)|
|Grand Prix Circuit (1980–1985)|
|Length||3.991 km (2.480 mi)|
|Grand Prix Circuit (1962–1979)|
|Length||5.000 km (3.107 mi)|
|Lap record||1:43.05 (Jacky Ickx, Brabham Ford BT26/A, 1969, FIA Formula One)|
|NASCAR Circuit (2005–2014)|
|Length||4.052 km (2.518 mi)|
|Lap record||1:27.458 (Scott Pruett, Chip Ganassi Racing, 2007, NASCAR Nationwide Series)|
|Oval Circuit (1962–present)|
|Length||1.609 km (1.000 mi)|
The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez ("Rodríguez Brothers Racetrack") is a 4.484 km (2.786 mi) race track in Mexico City, Mexico, named for the famous racing drivers Ricardo and Pedro Rodríguez. The circuit got its name shortly after it opened when Ricardo Rodríguez died in practice for the non-Championship 1962 Mexican Grand Prix. Ricardo's brother Pedro also lost his life behind the wheel years later.
The circuit is located within the public park of the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City in southeast Mexico City. The circuit is owned by the Government of the City, but is currently operated under concession by Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE) through OCESA, one of CIE's subsidiaries. CIE also organizes the NASCAR and Desafío Corona races in this circuit and rents the circuits to other parties, including race organizers, automobile clubs and track amateurs for fees that are controversial due to their disproportionately high amounts compared to other ex-F1 courses.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series started racing at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the 2005 season and ended in the 2008 season. Martin Truex Jr. won the race in 2005, and Denny Hamlin won in 2006. For the 2007 race, the chicane was removed to increase passing opportunities down the front straight and into turn 1, and Juan Pablo Montoya from Bogotá, Colombia, won the race. Kyle Busch was the winner of the race in 2008.
The A1 Grand Prix series started racing at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the 06–07 season using the full-track configuration used by Formula One. Alex Yoong from Malaysia won the sprint race and Oliver Jarvis from the United Kingdom won the feature race. In the 07–08 season, Jonny Reid from New Zealand won the sprint race and Adam Carroll of Team Ireland won the feature race.
Built in a public park in 1962, the circuit hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix the same year, as a non-Championship race. The following year the Mexican Grand Prix became a full World Championship event. The circuit remained part of the F1 calendar through 1970, when spectator overcrowding caused unsafe conditions. When the track re-opened in 1986, the circuit boasted a new pit complex, as well as improved safety all around. In 2001 CIE and Forsythe Racing tasked D3 Motorsport Development with revamping the circuit. A complete redesign and upgrade of the circuit was designed, Project Managed by D3 Motorsport Development which saw a record crowd of 402,413 people attend a round of the CART Championship. As of 2014, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez has been the only venue for the F1 Mexican Grand Prix.
It was announced in May 2012, that the circuit would again host the Mexican Grand Prix from 2013, in a five-year deal that would see it replace the European Grand Prix in Valencia, but this did not happen. The FIA listed the Mexican Grand Prix as the 19th round of the provisional schedule for the 2014 season, but it was not on the finalized schedule. The Mexican Grand Prix was listed on the 2015 Formula One calendar published by the FIA on 3 December 2014.
The Grand Prix circuit
The circuit itself has a very bumpy surface, mostly due to Mexico City's location on a geologically active region. Furthermore, with an elevation of 2,285 m(7,500 ft), the thin air causes difficulties for both the drivers and their cars.
The circuit has an extremely fast final corner (the peraltada) before a long start/finish straight, and thus reminded some of Monza; however, unlike Monza's parabolica curve, the peraltada curve is slightly banked, allowing even more speed through the corner. It was at this corner that the younger Rodríguez crashed, although it is unclear whether this was due to excess speed or suspension failure. After the last F1 Mexican Grand Prix in 1992, a baseball stadium was built on the inner part of this curve. When the Champ Car series began using the track in 2002, the peraltada curve was partially bypassed by a series of sharp turns entering and exiting the baseball field; re-entering the peraltada halfway through.
After the Peraltada comes the long 1.2 km front straight. During the original turbo era in Formula One the faster cars were regularly clocking speeds of up to 330 km/h (205 mph) on the straight.
In the 2005 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, there was a chicane on the main straightaway to slow the cars down. They also introduced a curve between the short course and the Ese del Lago to bypass the latter, but avoiding the stadium detour.
The Grand Prix circuit underwent a significant renovation under the direction of Hermann Tilke for the return of Formula One in 2015. The front straight was slightly extended and reprofiled to accommodate a new media center and paddock. The iconic esses between turns 7 and 13 were significantly modified; the prolific, high radius turns largely diminished and some replaced with fixed angle turns. The baseball field portion of the track was also altered to a low speed left-right combination. At 4.421 km, the course is approximately 60 metres shorter than the previous Grand Prix layout, and Mexican Grand Prix organisers predict lap times of around 75 seconds and speeds in excess of 325 km/h (202 mph) for the current turbocharged Formula One cars, which eliminate the adverse effects of altitude present in naturally aspirated cars.
The oval track
The circuit also features an oval layout due to the inclusion of a flat turn that goes from the middle of the main straight to the beginning of the back stretch of circuit. Unlike the road course, the oval is raced in counter-clockwise direction.
The oval configuration of this Mexico City facility is arguably the most dangerous racetrack in Mexico, because of the limited visibility at the exit of Turns 2 and 4. This is because the Foro Sol baseball stadium is located inside turns 1 and 2; and several trees are located inside turns 3 and 4.
During the 2006 season, two horrific accidents occurred in the oval track during NASCAR Mexico T4 Series events, which took several drivers out of the race and even required some of them to be taken to hospital.
- NASCAR Toyota Series – 1 race in the oval
- Copa Turismo México – Copa Turismo México Presentada por Continental y FIAT
- Moto Pro México – Copa Turismo México Presentada por Continental y FIAT
- Formula One – slotted for a 2015 grand prix
- Formula One Qualifying: Nigel Mansell, 1:16.346, 1992
- Formula One Race: Nigel Mansell, 1:16.788, 1991
- A1 Grand Prix Qualifying: Alex Yoong, 1:26.490 (115.015 mph), 2007
- Champ Car Qualifying: Will Power, 1:23.558 (119.601 mph), November 10, 2007
- CART/Champ Car (IndyCar) Race (1980 Primera Copa Mexico 150): Rick Mears, 1h 16m 43sec (116.376 mph), October 26, 1980
- NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying: Scott Pruett, 1:27.458 (103.647 mph), 2007
- NASCAR Nationwide Series Race (200 miles): Juan Pablo Montoya, 2 hrs. 45 min. 15 sec. (74.969 mph), March 4, 2007
The baseball stadium
The Coca-Cola Zero Festival was held at the racetrack on April 12, 2008 . Acts included The Smashing Pumpkins, The Mars Volta, My Chemical Romance, My Morning Jacket, Belanova, Bright Eyes, Kinky and Miranda!.
- "FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO 2015". 16 October 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "México tendrá gran premio ya para 2013". MARCA.com. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "2014 Calendar draft has 21 races including Mexico". f1fanatic.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "World Motor Sport Council 2014 - Doha". FIA. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Official website
- Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Page on the NASCAR website
- Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Page at GrandPrix.com (focusing on Formula One history)
- Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on Google Maps (Current Formula One Tracks)
- Trackpedia's guide to driving and facts about Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
- A1GP info of Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez