The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is steeped in history. First built in 1962 in a public park with the opening Mexican Grand Prix taking place a year later, the Mexican Grand Prix returned to the Formula One calendar last year after a 23-year hiatus.
Named after brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez, the track, which sits at an altitude of 2,200 metres above sea level is the highest on the year’s race calendar by some distance. With 17 corners for drivers to tackle, the pit straight is one of the longest in Formula One™.
The Rodriguez Brothers
As mentioned above, the track is named after brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez. Brought up in Mexico City, both raced bicycles and motorcycles, becoming National champions in 1953 and 1954 respectively. It was older brother Pedro who enjoyed the more fruitful career.
His career began driving at 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a Ferrari 500 at the age of 18. Pedro would return to compete in the event fourteen times in total before eventually winning the race in 1968. It was the 1967 South African Grand Prix which gave him notoriety. Racing in what was only his ninth Grand Prix for Cooper. Over the next number of years, Pedro proved to be one of the most consistent drivers on the grid, with a total of seven podium finishes and a further win in the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix. Tragically, his talent was taken away too soon when he crashed while racing in Germany in 1971. He was widely considered as one of the best drivers of his era.
Like his older brother, Ricardo Rodriguez was a prodigious talent from an early age. Such was his exploits in four wheels, he was offered a ride in the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the age of 14, but he refused. In 1961 he was offered a drive from racing giants Ferrari. He didn’t disappoint. At the ripe old age of 19, he qualified for the Italian Grand Prix in second place, a record that would stand as the youngest driver to start from the front row until just a few short weeks ago. Widely considered a champion in-waiting, his death sparked national mourning in Mexico. Aged just 20, he was killed on the first day of practice at the 1962 Mexican Grand Prix.
In 1973, the Mexico City race track Magdalena Mixuhca was renamed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (Autodrome Brothers Rodríguez).
Hector Rebaque was a veteran of 58 Formula One World Championship races throughout a career which spanned four years, between 1977 and 1981. During that time, he scored 13 points, as well as launching his own race team, Rebaque, which competed in 30 races.
Moises Solana raced five years in Formula One. He became the first driver in World Championship history to start a race in a number 13 car. Debuting in the 1963 Mexican Grand Prix, Solana’s faith too was tragic. Racing his McLaren in the 1968 renewal of the event, it overturned and proved to be fatal.
A New Age of Drivers
In more recent times, Esteban Gutierrez and Sergio “Checo” Perez have flown the flag for Mexico in Formula One. Both current drivers, Gutierrez first entered the F1 scene in 2009 as a test driver for Sauber. However, it wasn’t until the 2012 and the Australian Grand Prix when he would make his debut. While only scoring points on one occasion thus far in his career at the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix, Gutierrez was picked up by Haas F1 to drive for the 2016 season. While showing some solid form thus far, Gutierrez will be hoping to gain some more point scoring results, and at 25, has a long and successful career ahead of him.
Sergio Perez, or “Checo” as he is more commonly known, is one of Mexico’s biggest sportspeople. Beginning his career with Sauber in 2011, Perez’s career has gone from strength to strength ever since. Currently driving for Force India, he sits in 8th position in the 2016 drivers’ standings. Having podiumed seven times so far in his time in F1, Perez is sure to be a mainstay in Formula One for many years to come.
Book Your Mexico Grand Prix Package Today!
One thing is for sure at this year’s Gran Premio de Mexico™: the local support will be out in force to support their National heroes!
Beginning October 28th, the race, which is the third last on the calendar, will be pivotal in deciding who wins the Drivers’ Championship! With our exclusive hospitality access at the Paddock Club, enjoy this once in a lifetime experience in style with unparalleled views of the circuit. Complemented by our Club Suite with fine dining, premium, drinks and entertainment, take a walk down the pit lane to get up close and personal with team personnel over the race weekend!