MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Mexican GP

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After 23 years away, the Mexican Grand Prix makes its much-anticipated return this weekend as Formula 1 ventures to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

With a fanbase hungry for F1 and two drivers – Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez – making names for themselves in the sport, Mexico’s return to the calendar has been widely welcomed, and will look to return the favor to the paddock this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton arrives in Mexico City a three-time world champion, and for the first time in his career has the luxury of having the championship already won and in his back pocket with three races to spare.

As such, it will be interesting to see how the Briton fares this weekend and for the remainder of the season, particularly with Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg still hungry to add to their win tallies this year (three apiece) and finish as runner-up to Hamilton.

Heading into this weekend’s race, MST lead writers Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno have made their predictions for what promises to be a memorable event in Mexico.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. In the form of his life and with the peace of mind that the championship is already won, I’m tipping Lewis to be at his brilliant best this weekend. An 11th win of the season would rubber-stamp his authority on an already-dominant campaign.

Surprising FinishSergio Perez. When Perez enters the Forosol stadium section for the first time with 30,000 Mexican fans chanting his name, it will be clear why F1 is back in Mexico. Checo is in great form with the B-spec Force India, and I’ll back him to flourish on home soil this weekend.

Most to ProveNico Rosberg. After bottling the race win in Austin, Rosberg needs to come back strong in Mexico. Finishing behind Vettel in the championship despite having one of the most dominant F1 cars in history underneath him would be a massive blow.

Additional Storyline to WatchMexico returns. Revived races can be risky, but this one appears to be a sure-fire winner. With a huge fanbase, two drivers and a heavy sponsor presence in F1, Mexico needs a grand prix. This weekend should only underscore that.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton. Duh, right? Newly crowned three-time World Champion will roll into the newest (old) track on the calendar and continue his hot streak. With the title out of the way, 10 wins this year and three more races remaining, he has a chance to equal the Schumacher/Vettel 13 wins in a season record.

Surprise finish: Sergio Perez. Again… duh, right? The Force India-Mercedes has been one of the star chassis the second half of the season, Perez one of the star drivers. Provided he isn’t completely overwhelmed with promotional and media responsibilities ahead of his home Grand Prix, Perez rolls on his hot streak with another top-five finish. A podium may cause the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to spontaneously combust.

Most to prove: Carlos Sainz Jr. Desperately unlucky in recent races, but fell victim to an accusation by the usually ebullient Daniel Ricciardo – who we hope has survived his attack on Texas red meat Sunday night – that his race craft was lacking. More to the point, he’s been outclassed and out-pointed big time by Max Verstappen of late. He needs a trouble-free weekend, as does the Toro Rosso crew, who have worked tirelessly to ensure the young Spaniard has a working chassis.

Additional storyline: Rain vs. crowds. If it’s “deja vu all over again” with heavy rain coming to Mexico City, is it going to affect the fervent passion of the locals who have been waiting for 23 years to get a race back on the schedule? You’d think not. The old Champ Car races in Mexico City were traditionally packed, regardless of weather, so the F1 crowd should be monstrous this weekend.

Pick the podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sergio Perez Force India

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
Align Media

Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia,
collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb,
concussion | returned at Pala

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala