F1 Mexican Grand Prix Predictions, Best Bets and Picks: Max Verstappen is just too good

BAHRAIN - Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) during the second day of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit ahead of the start of the Formula 1 season. ANP SEM VAN DER WAL /ANP/Sipa USA
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Matt Selz

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NASCAR handicapper for Pickswise, looking to give you winners throughout the season! For Matt Selz media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

Mexico City! Next round on the 2023 F1 schedule for the Mexican Grand Prix is set for The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday. It’s one of the trickiest tracks on the circuit, not only because of layout, but also location. Round 20 of the 2023 F1 season has a lot of storylines heading into it, but are any of those usable for betting? How does the location of Mexico City change the way we look at what teams will do well? Is this a track with overtaking chances? What are the similar tracks to The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez? All of this along with winner and prop bet predictions for the Mexican GP below.

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Track Layout

The 17 turns that make up the 2.67-mile (4.304-km) circuit may not seem challenging on the surface. That is until we look at how they really setup. The run into Turn 1 is one of, if not, the longest on the F1 schedule which makes Turn 1 a challenging braking zone to get right. The stadium section is a clumsy, often slow, set of corners, and Turn 16 might be the easiest to crash on. With how the cars feel around the circuit, thanks to the high elevation, the grip in the car is a premium. What elevation? The track doesn’t have any change; true.

However, Mexico City in general is one of the highest major cities in the world at over 7,000 feet above sea level. That makes the engines run thin and get less power out of the same gas levels. It also means that while the teams are running high-downforce aero packages, the effective downforce isn’t much. So with all that being said, the layout of The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a tough one to compare to any others.

Betting Strategies For F1 Mexican Grand Prix

So, knowing what we know about the track, what are the strategies we’re looking at? Firstly, overtaking is hard here. For example, in the 71 laps run in the 2022 race, there were just 20 overtakes in the entire race. That’s less than one every three laps. It means that qualifying is generally a good rule of thumb for where drivers will finish, unless chaos ensues or they find something special during the race. This also isn’t a track that evolves a lot during the race because of the lack of downforce and lack of tire degradation. So when betting for props, we’ll be looking at teams who have done better at lower downforce tracks this year. The other strategy to use here is focusing on drivers who are normally tougher to pass on the tighter circuits in F1.

F1 Mexican Grand Prix Winner Predictions

All odds shown are from DraftKings Sportsbook

Max Verstappen -400

The theme of the season continues, it’s Verstappen or bust. He’s won nearly every race and is basically punting qualifying just to have fun and try and win from different starting spots. Have to hand it to him if that’s what it takes for him to have fun. He’s won here four times, and unless Red Bull changes their priorities, this should be a fifth.

Sergio Perez +750

This is his home track and given all of the drama surrounding him, it comes at an interesting time. There are reports that his teammate needs more security due to the way Perez is being treated, purportedly, by Red Bull. So perhaps, having Checo win the race would be a big step in quelling the issues. There’s also the fact that Red Bull have long been the best cars in the higher elevation so it would likely just take a strategy move to have Perez in a spot to win.

Lewis Hamilton +1000

Fresh off of a disqualification last week at COTA, he’ll be wanting to get back on the right foot. Mercedes has typically been a team that performs well in the higher-elevation environment as well. Mercedes is still geared toward their team orders favoring Hamilton rather than George Russell as well. The only other driver to beat Verstappen here in the last five races is Hamilton as well.

Best Prop Bets For F1 Mexican Grand Prix

All odds shown are from DraftKings Sportsbook

Race Winning Car Without – AlphaTauri +850

While it’s been a bit of a rough patch for AlphaTauri, this is a track that sets up well for them. They are powered by Red Bull engines which we know thrive here and with Daniel Ricciardo back along with Yuki Tsunoda, they should be capable of placing in the top-six which is about all we need for this bet to pay.

Double Podium Finish – Red Bull +105

Verstappen is pretty much a lock for this. Checo is motivated and happy to be on home soil. If both of those play out as expected, getting plus odds on this prop is too hard to turn down.

Double Podium Finish – Mercedes +500

If we’re looking for a hedge for the above bet against Checo not landing on the podium, this is it. Mercedes has the driver duo to pull this off, along with cars that historically perform well in this environment too. This is going off as the second-best double podium finish which should indicate the perceived gaps between teams.

Double Top-10 Finish – Alpine +185

Alpine has been surging lately. Not only that but they ran well here last year in this same generation of car. When we add to that the boost in publicity, and funding, they got this week from Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Rory McIlroy, things are trending up. We’ll take solid plus money return on this one.

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