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


  • 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.

Ford unveils a new Mustang for 2024 Le Mans in motorsports ‘lifestyle brand’ retooling

Ford Mustang Le Mans
Ford Performance

LE MANS, France — Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer “into the racing business.”

The Friday unveil of the new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car follows Ford’s announcement in February (and a ballyhooed test at Sebring in March) that it will return to Formula One in 2026 in partnership with reigning world champion Red Bull.

The Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and is hopeful to earn an invitation to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IMSA entries will be a factory Ford Performance program run by Multimatic, and a customer program in WEC with Proton Competition.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, also an amateur sports car racer, told The Associated Press the Mustang will be available to compete in various GT3 series across the globe to customer teams. But more important, Farley said, is the overall rebranding of Ford Performance – done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee – that is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

“It’s kind of like the company finding its own, and rediscovering its icons, and doubling down on them,” Farley told the AP. “And then this motorsports activity is getting serious about connecting enthusiast customers with those rediscovered icons. It’s a big switch for the company – this is really about building strong, iconic vehicles with enthusiasts at the center of our marketing.”

Ford last competed in sports car racing in 2019 as part of a three-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing. The team scored the class win at Le Mans in 2016 in a targeted performance aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford snapping Ferrari’s six-year winning streak.

Ford on Friday displayed a Mustang with a Lee-designed livery that showcased the cleaner, simplified look that will soon be featured on all its racing vehicles. The traditional blue oval with Ford Performance in white lettering underneath will now be branded simply FP.

The new mark will be used across car liveries, merchandise and apparel, display assets, parts and accessories and in advertising.

Farley cited Porsche as an automaker that has successfully figured out how to sell cars to consumers and race cars in various series around the world while creating a culture of brand enthusiasts. He believes Ford’s new direction will help the company sell street cars, race cars, boost interest in driving schools, and create a merchandise line that convinces consumers that a stalwart of American automakers is a hip, cool brand.

“We’re going to build a global motorsports business off road and on road,” Farley told the AP, adding that the design of the Mustang is “unapologetically American.”

He lauded the work of Lee, who is considered the top helmet designer among race car drivers.

“We’re in the first inning of a nine inning game, and going to Le Mans is really important,” Farley said. “But for customer cars, getting the graphics right, designing race cars that win at all different levels, and then designing a racing brand for Ford Performance that gets rebranded and elevated is super important.”

He said he’s kept a close eye on how Porsche and Aston Martin have built their motorsports businesses and said Ford will be better.

“We’re going in the exact same direction. We just want to be better than them, that’s all,” Farley said. “Second is the first loser.”

Farley, an avid amateur racer himself, did not travel to Le Mans for the announcement. The race that begins Saturday features an entry from NASCAR, and Ford is the reigning Cup Series champion with Joey Logano and Team Penske.

The NASCAR “Garage 56” entry is a collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, and is being widely celebrated throughout the industry. Farley did feel left out of the party in France – a sentiment NASCAR tried to avoid by inviting many of its partners to attend the race so that it wouldn’t seem like a Chevrolet-only celebration.

“They’re going right and I’m going left – that NASCAR thing is a one-year deal, right? It’s Garage 56 and they can have their NASCAR party, but that’s a one-year party,” Farley said. “We won Le Mans outright four times, we won in the GT class, and we’re coming back with Mustang and it’s not a one-year deal.

“So they can get all excited about Garage 56. I almost see that as a marketing exercise for NASCAR, but for me, that’s a science project,” Farley continued. “I don’t live in a world of science projects. I live in the world of building a vital company that everyone is excited about. To do that, we’re not going to do a Garage 56 – I’ve got to beat Porsche and Aston Martin and Ferrari year after year after year.”

Ford’s announcement comes on the heels of General Motors changing its GT3 strategy next season and ending its factory Corvette program. GM, which unlike Ford competes in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype division (with its Cadillac brand), will shift fully to a customer model for Corvettes in 2024 (with some factory support in the IMSA GTD Pro category).