The Mexico F1 has only been back on the circuit for a couple of years but is already getting a reputation as a lively and colourful event – especially with it being held in the same week as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. We went with Nick and Kirsten to cheer on Aussie Ricciardo and the local hero Sergio Perez.
Fortunately we bought tickets for the Mexican F1 before we were worrying about the budget as (quite surprisingly) it is one of the most expensive on the calendar – expect to pay US$500 each for good tickets. I always like to get seats with the highest probability of seeing some overtaking so we went for the Gold 3 seats at the end of the first straight coming in to turns one and two – this is also the end of the first DRS zone. This turned out to be an awesome choice as we saw probably 20 or 30 overtakes on this corner and also had good visibility of a couple of large TV screens. Looking at other options after the event I’m confident this is the best section and highly recommend.
The race didn’t go as we hoped. Ricciardo had issues in quali, took a new engine overnight and somehow still had his engine die after seven laps. The two fighting for the world championship, Vettel and Hamilton hit each other on lap one so we saw plenty of activity as they fought back through the backmarkers – especially Vettel. Hamilton did enough (well actually Vettel didn’t do enough) to guarantee the world championship – sadly though they has no visible celebration for this after the race and as far as we could tell they didn’t even show the full podium presentation on the in circuit TVs. The real cheers during the day though were for the Mexican driver Perez who outperformed at his home race and kept the atmosphere in the stands buzzing until the end!
Having been so in love with the street food scene in Mexico we hoped that the options for eating and drinking at the Mexico F1 would be a highlight. Overall, they weren’t – certainly not in the main grandstand areas. The food options were restricted to a few large sellers offering western food such as pizza and some pretty westernized Mexican food. My dream of ducking out mid race to a cheeky taco truck failed. The one saving grace was the tasty tostidos preparados basically a bag of corn chips opened up sideways and topped up with a heap of cheese, jalapenos and salsa. We had several of these over the two days but skipped on the other food. The tostidos were apparently so good none of the four of us thought to take a photo!
Drinks were mostly imports (with Heineken advertising everywhere) but they did have pre-mixed micheladas which were a good hair of the dog to start each day. Beers cost around $6US which is good by F1 standards, expensive in comparison to the city of course. Beer service is available in the grandstands but it can take a while and is not always an easy process (donde esta mi cambio??!?). Water was a very difficult commodity to get, they only had tiny bottles and ran out both days. With the sun shining it’s really a matter of buy them early or die of thirst!
Despite being a massive city we found getting to the F1 circuit extremely easy. The Metro runs straight to the track with two different stops depending on your gate. For us, Puebla station was a 30 second walk to our grandstand entrance – super easy – probably one of the easiest F1 tracks to get to that I’ve been to.
Overall, not the result we wanted but an awesome weekend. Only issue is that Jen and Kirsten now say they want to come to every F1 – end of the boys weekend!
Next up: a full write up of our time in CDMX.