Mexico City: Team Netherlands preview

To great heights A1 Team Netherlands is preparing for the seventh round of the season on the highest situated circuit that is visited by A1GP, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, at an altitude of 2.285 meters above sea level. On...

To great heights

A1 Team Netherlands is preparing for the seventh round of the season on the highest situated circuit that is visited by A1GP, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, at an altitude of 2.285 meters above sea level.

On this track A1 Team Netherlands is hoping that it can get its performance to great heights as well, last year the team had bad luck on the track that is situated in the middle of the immense Mexican capitol, in the Feature race the steering wheel suddenly came loose. The team did show though that despite the setback in the race the pace itself was good.

After the two shunts in Durban the A1 Team Netherlands car has been completely rebuilt and is ready for a race that is also harder on the drivers because of the altitude. Last season A1 Team Netherlands switched drivers during the weekend, Renger van der Zande drove the qualifying and the Sprintrace, Jeroen Bleekemolen did the Feature race. This year Bleekemolen is driving both races and qualifying, while A1 Team Netherlands Rookie Arie Luyendyk jr. will be the first to go out on track.

Jeroen Bleekemolen; "We have 3 races left to go in the Championship and I want to finish the season well. I only drove part of the weekend in Mexico last year and that went very well. Especially in the Feature race, after we had the problem we were very quick. With last year's data we should come a long way in finding a solid base for this season. The circuit is situated at 2 km altitude and this causes the engines to deliver a little bit less power. But we do have a long straight here, where speeds will still be high and this gives some good overtaking opportunities.'

Arie Luyendyk jr; '"Mexico is pretty close to Arizona so the flight was nice and short and my father will be attending so that is always exciting for me. I just completed the track walk and it looks like it is going to be an amazing circuit to drive. The track has an extremely long front straight then shortly after goes into a series of flowing corners, it looks like it will be very important to have a good rhythm in these sections, I think this will be the key in putting a good lap down.

Last event in Durban we made big steps of improving the car for the rest of that event, hopefully we can accomplish the same and have a good result as well."

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodrigues was built in 1962 and was host to the Formula 1 one year later. A great motivator for the construction of the circuit was the arrival of the Mexican top driver-Ricardo Rodriguez. After both he and his brother Pedro were killed during races the circuit was named after them in their memories.

The circuit has a lenght of 2.7 miles and is situated in the middle of the city. After the Formula 1 left for good in 1992 the first major international race on the circuit was a 2002 Champcar race. The circuit has been modified compared to last season. The infamous Peraltade corner, which has no run-off and is lined with a concrete wall has been changed by adding a chicane on the entry of this extremely fast final corner. This generates a possible extra overtaking opportunity.

-credit: tn/al

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Ricardo Rodríguez , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Renger van der Zande