Formula 1

2021 F1 Mexican GP – how to watch, session timings and more

F1 is cranking up for another triple-header, starting a run of five races across six weeks to set up a dramatic climax to the 2021 campaign, beginning at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for F1’s first return to the track since 2019 after the cancellation of last year’s race due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Max Verstappen extended his F1 world championship lead to 12 points with victory last time out at the United States GP, holding off a late charge by title rival Lewis Hamilton, which has given the Red Bull driver a key advantage going into the title deciders. 

While Red Bull will head into the Mexican GP as pre-race favourites with a car package traditionally better suited to the high altitude of the Mexico City circuit, both title contenders remain wary of the fine margins in performance which has been an ongoing theme in 2021.

PLUS: Why the intensity of F1 2021’s title fight plays into Red Bull’s ethos

Meanwhile, Mercedes remains slightly wary of its ongoing power unit issues, with Valtteri Bottas hopeful he can reach the end of the season without further engine grid penalties having picked up three in the last four races. 

The Mexican GP starts a gruelling triple-header with the Brazilian GP, and the third trial of the sprint race weekend format, hosting the middle leg before the final race of the trio in Qatar.

The season finishes with back-to-back races in the Middle East, starting with the first-ever Saudi Arabian GP ahead of the 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.

Fans cheer from the grandstands at the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix

Fans cheer from the grandstands at the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

2021 Mexican GP session timings

F1 will stick to its regular weekend schedule for the Mexican GP, with two practice sessions on Friday each lasting 60 minutes (rather than the previous 90-minute sessions), before an additional practice session also running for one hour on Saturday.

The Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout-style qualifying format is also being retained on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid for the Mexican GP on Sunday.

F1 has also ditched starting races at 10 minutes past the hour mark for the 2021 season, with all races starting at the top of the hour.

Friday 5th November 2021

Free Practice 1: 5:30pm-6:30pm BST (11:30am-12:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 9:00pm-10:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)

Saturday 6th November 2021

Free Practice 3: 5:00pm-6:00pm BST (11:00am-12:00pm local)
Qualifying: 8:00pm-9:00pm BST (2:00pm-3:00pm local)

Sunday 7th November 2021

Race: 7:00pm BST (1:00pm local)

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34, leads Nico Hulkenberg, Renault R.S. 19

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34, leads Nico Hulkenberg, Renault R.S. 19

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

How can I watch the Mexican States GP? 

  • Channel: Sky Sports F1 HD
  • Channel numbers – Sky: 406
  • Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 506 (Sky Sports F1 HD) 

Sky Sports has live and exclusive broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom, with the build-up to the F1 race starting from 5:30pm ahead of lights out at 7:00pm.

When can I watch the Mexican GP highlights?

  • Channel: Channel 4
  • Start time: Saturday qualifying – 8:30am Sunday, Sunday race – 11:35pm

Channel 4 has the rights to show Mexican GP highlights of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Will the Mexican GP be on the radio?

Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra stations or via the BBC Sport website.

Coverage of the Mexican GP will start at 6:45pm BST on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sounds app.

Weather forecast for the Mexican GP

Mexico City is set for largely dry and sunny weather conditions throughout the race weekend, with sunshine and a low chance of rain on each day of track action. Highs of 18 degrees Celsius are predicted on Sunday – 13 degrees cooler than the hottest conditions at the United States GP.

Most F1 Mexican GP wins

Max Verstappen: 2 wins (2017, 2018)
Lewis Hamilton: 2 wins (2016, 2019)
Alain Prost: 2 wins (1988, 1990)
Nigel Mansell: 2 wins (1987, 1992)
Jim Clark: 2 wins (1963, 1967)

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