Mexican Grand Prix: 1992 versus 2015

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The Mexican Grand Prix returns to the calendar this weekend after a 23-year hiatus.

And while the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track is mostly the same, albeit updated to 2015 specifications, there’s been plenty of changes in both the grid and the driver lineup, 23 years later.

Here’s a look at the finishing order from the 1992 Mexican Grand Prix (see highlights here, via F1’s YouTube channel), and a note and/or recent update of each driver in the field:

  • 1. 5-Nigel Mansell, Williams-Renault; went onto win 1992 World Championship, raced in F1 until 1995; most recently raced in both GP Masters and the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans with sons Leo and Greg, but early accident put pause to that
  • 2. 6-Riccardo Patrese, Williams-Renault; raced in F1 until 1993, retiring as driver with 257 starts a career record for most, before it was surpassed by Rubens Barrichello at 2008 Turkish Grand Prix
  • 3. 19-Michael Schumacher, Benetton-Ford; this marked his first career podium; of course set records of seven World Championships and 91 Grand Prix wins in career that went to 2006, then a second stint from 2010 to 2012; still recovering after skiing accident in late December 2013
  • 4. 2-Gerhard Berger, McLaren-Honda; raced in F1 until 1997, later served as a team boss at Scuderia Toro Rosso and president of the FIA Single Seater Commission
  • 5. 4-Andrea de Cesaris, Tyrrell-Illmor; raced in F1 until 1994, set record for most Grand Prix starts without a win (208), and died last October in a motorcycle accident
  • 6. 11-Mika Hakkinen, Lotus-Ford; raced in F1 until 2001; two-time World Champion (1998, 1999); Mexico only his second career points-paying finish
  • 7. 12-Johnny Herbert, Lotus-Ford; raced in F1 until 2000; current Sky Sports commentator
  • 8. 21-JJ Lehto, Dallara-Ferrari; raced in F1 until 1994; some CART, sports car races and a boat accident of note
  • 9. 26-Erik Comas, Ligier-Renault; raced in F1 until 1994; sports cars and historics, now retired
  • 10. 25-Thierry Boutsen, Ligier-Renault; raced in F1 until 1993; sports cars, then ventured into aviation with Boutsen Aviation, also owner in Boutsen Energy Racing sports car team
  • 11. 29-Bertrand Gachot, Larrousse-Lamborghini; raced in F1 until 1995; sports cars, then Hype Energy Drink
  • 12. 30-Ukyo Katayama, Larrousse-Lamborghini; raced in F1 until 1997; sports cars and mountain climber
  • 13. 9-Michele Alboreto, Footwork-Mugen Honda; raced in F1 until 1994; IRL and sports cars; killed in a testing accident in 2001
  • Ret. 20-Martin Brundle, Benetton-Ford; raced in F1 until 1996; now veteran commentator with Sky Sports
  • Ret. 15-Gabriele Tarquini, Fondmetal-Ford; raced in F1 until 1995; touring car veteran
  • Ret. 14-Andrea Chiesa, Fondmetal-Ford; raced in F1 until 1992; Mexico marked his GP race debut
  • Ret. 22-Pierluigi Martini, Dallara-Ford; raced in F1 until 1995; sports cars including overall win with BMW V12 LMR at 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Ret. 27-Jean Alesi, Ferrari; raced in F1 until 2001; 201 Grands Prix later and an infamous one-off Indianapolis 500 appearance with Lotus in 2012
  • Ret. 24-Gianni Morbidelli, Minardi-Lamborghini; raced in F1 until 1997; mix of sports cars, touring cars and rallycross since
  • Ret. 32-Stefano Modena, Jordan-Yamaha; raced in F1 until 1992; touring cars
  • Ret. 3-Olivier Grouillard, Tyrrell-Illmor; raced in F1 until 1992; IndyCar and sports cars since
  • Ret. 1-Ayrton Senna, McLaren-Honda; three-time World Champion; killed at Imola in 1994
  • Ret. 23-Christian Fittipaldi, Minardi-Lamborghini; raced in F1 until 1994; two-time defending champion in IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, had long CART/IndyCar career before that
  • Ret. 33-Mauricio Gugelmin, Jordan-Yamaha; raced in F1 until 1992; CART/IndyCar 1993-2001
  • Ret. 16-Karl Wendlinger, March-Illmor; raced in F1 until 1995; sports cars after
  • Ret. 28-Ivan Capelli, Ferrari; raced in F1 until 1993; Italian commentator for Rai and sports cars
  • DNQ: 10-Aguri Suzuki, Footwork Mugen-Honda; raced in F1 until 1995; Super Aguri F1 and now Team Aguri Formula E team principal
  • DNQ: 17-Paul Belmondo, March-Illmor; raced in F1 until 1994; started own sports car team
  • DNQ: 7-Eric van de Poele, Brabham-Judd; raced in F1 until 1992; sports cars after
  • DNQ: 8-Giovanna Amati, Brabham-Judd; raced in F1 until 1992; never qualified for a GP and was most recent female on a race weekend since Susie Wolff’s handful of FP1 outings

TEAM EVOLUTION

  • Williams-Renault: With the FW14B chassis, Williams had a thoroughly dominant 1992 season. Hasn’t won a World Championship since 1997 and its last race win came via Pastor Maldonado in 2012. Engines used since the end of the Renault tenure: Mecachrome, Supertec, BMW, Cosworth, Toyota, Cosworth, Renault and now Mercedes.
  • Benetton-Ford: The team that began its life as Toleman survived as Benetton through 2001, became the Renault factory squad in 2002, stayed that way through 2011 before it became Lotus, and now is on the verge of going back to Renault in 2016.
  • McLaren-Honda: Save for the Ford (1993) and Peugeot (1994) one-off years, the least amount of change since 1992. Its 20-year run with Mercedes engines ended at the end of 2014 and Honda has come back, albeit has fought through a challenging return season.
  • Tyrrell-Illmor: Your current champions. Seriously. Tyrrell became BAR, which became Honda, which became Brawn, which became Mercedes AMG Petronas. Ken Tyrrell passed away in 2001.
  • Lotus-Ford: The remnants of the Colin Chapman-led team fell by the wayside after the 1994 season, although Lotus signage was due to appear on Keith Wiggins’ Pacific GP cars in 1995.
  • Ligier-Renault: Guy Ligier’s team changed hands to Alain Prost in 1997, and the team disbanded after 2001. Ligier died earlier this year.
  • Dallara-Ferrari: Without being named as such, this is more or less what the first Haas F1 chassis will be next year. The BMS Scuderia Italia team that ran the Dallara-Ferraris in 1992 survived through 1993, then with Lola chassis, before merging with Minardi in 1994.
  • Larrousse-Lamborghini: Two entities long since out of F1. Larrousse was out after 1994, Lamborghini 1993.
  • Footwork-Mugen Honda: Survived as Footwork, later Arrows, and later gone – Arrows packed up midway through 2002. Mugen Honda lasted a bit longer.
  • Fondmetal-Ford: Survived until the end of 1992 as a team, although Gabriele Rumi’s wheel sponsor stayed on for several other seasons with other teams.
  • Ferrari: The one team on the grid that has been through the least amount of evolution, although there have been plenty of internal changes at the Scuderia since 1992.
  • Minardi-Lamborghini: Gian Carlo Minardi’s team lasted until 2005, with Paul Stoddart team principal for the last few years, before selling to Red Bull and giving birth to Scuderia Toro Rosso.
  • Jordan-Yamaha: The team now known as Force India, after being Jordan until 2005, Midland/MF1 the next year, Spyker MF1 in 2007 and Force India from 2008.
  • March-Illmor: Like several other teams, 1992 was its last on the F1 grid.
  • Brabham-Judd: The sad demise of the Brabham squad occurred this year as well, although it provided Damon Hill his F1 race debut later in the year.
  • Andrea Moda: Was due to run Alex Caffi and Enrico Bertaggia in this race but didn’t have new cars to do so. Later had Roberto Moreno and Perry McCarthy; team was described as an embarrassment to the sport with its lack of preparedness, the drivers and crew simply along for the ride.

So there were 16 teams and 32 drivers 23 years ago. Today, there are 10 and 22… and of those 22 drivers, five hadn’t even been born yet (Max Verstappen, 1997, Carlos Sainz Jr., 1994, Daniil Kvyat, 1994, Kevin Magnussen, October 1992, Felipe Nasr, August 1992)!

Mexican hero Sergio Perez, who is due to become the first Mexican to race in his home Grand Prix since Pedro Rodriguez in 1970, was only two at the time.

Things have changed.

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX
Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
Results and points from Anaheim 2