Verstappen doubled his advantage over Lewis Hamilton two weeks ago in Austin and now leads the seven-time champion by 12 points with five races to go in the season. It’s a great spot to be in heading into Mexico City, a track where Verstappen has been very good in recent years.
Verstappen won the 2017 and 2018 races at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Hamilton won two years ago and also won in 2016, though Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hinted that Red Bull has the upper hand entering the weekend.
Oddsmakers think Red Bull and Verstappen have an advantage too. Verstappen is a better than even favorite in qualifying and the race. Verstappen is -150 to get the pole for the race and is -135 to win the race.
Hamilton, meanwhile, is +200 to win the pole and +175 to win the race. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is the highest-altitude track on the Formula 1 calendar. The thinner air puts more stress on engines and any other components that require air to perform their jobs effectively. It also means that aerodynamic performance can be compromised in the corners as the air isn’t as heavy. Tires wear quicker too.
That thin air variability could lead to a lot of unpredictability. While Hamilton and Verstappen should be at the front of the field in some order, things behind them could be wild. Here’s a few of our picks for a potentially chaotic Mexico Grand Prix (2 p.m. ET, ESPN). All odds are from BetMGM.
Lewis Hamilton to finish in the top three (-225)
The odds aren’t very good on this one but you might as well take a relatively sure thing when you can, right?
Pierre Gasly to finish in the top 10 (-225)
It hasn’t been a great run for the Alpha Tauri team lately. We think it'll bounce back with a strong run for Gasly on Sunday.
Max Verstappen to get the race’s fastest lap (+200)
If you believe that Red Bull’s advantage is real, then Verstappen should put in the fastest lap, especially if he gets a DRS tow from someone while on fresher tires.
Valtteri Bottas to win Free Practice 1 (+400)
Anytime you can get Bottas at good odds to win the first practice, you should take it. We’ve explained our reasoning before and nothing has changed entering this weekend.
Sergio Perez to win the pole (+800)
This bet should come with a hedge on Perez’s Red Bull Racing teammate Verstappen. But Perez is racing in his home country for the first time with a car capable of winning. It’ll be the biggest party in the world this weekend if he wins the pole or the race.