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Mexican Grand Prix Tips: Sainz set to step on to podium

Max Verstappen has long since sealed his third consecutive Formula 1 drivers' championship, but his thirst for victories remains as rampant as ever and the Red Bull ace is a red-hot 2/7 favourite to land his 16th win of the season in this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix.

Verstappen turned the airwaves blue in Texas last week as he pleaded with his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase not to distract him while he was managing a braking issue as Lewis Hamilton ate into his lead in the closing laps.

The Dutchman needn't have worried as Hamilton was subsequently disqualified from second place as his Mercedes was found to have been running closer to the ground than the rules allow. The same fate befell Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who had finished sixth.

There should be no such technical slip-ups in Mexico, as we are back to the traditional weekend format with plenty of set-up time after two frantic sprint weekends.

But that didn't stop Verstappen's winning ways, and with 13 of the last 14 races having seen the Dutchman triumph, he remains the one to beat.

Adam Scriven's Mexican Grand Prix Tips

Carlos Sainz podium finish @ 11/2
Alex Albon points finish @ 7/4
Esteban Ocon points finish @ 4/6

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…

The Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez is situated at an altitude of over 2,000m and the thin air affects how the cars behave.

Starved of oxygen, the engines produce less power than at most circuits, while the intricate aerodynamic appendages are also less effective, meaning less efficiently designed cars are not so handicapped.

The vast majority of the crowd will be supporting Mexico's most successful F1 driver, Sergio Perez.

The markets see Checo as the most likely threat to his Red Bull team-mate Verstappen, but it may not work out like that.

Perez has finished third in the race the last two years, but arrived in much better form on those occasions. The veteran racer has managed just one podium finish in his last six outings.

WhatMexican Grand Prix
WhereCircuit Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City
When20:00 Sunday, October 29
How to watchSky Sports F1
OddsMax Verstappen 2/7, Sergio Perez 7/1, Lewis Hamilton 10/1, Lando Norris 18/1, George Russell 22/1

Carlos Sainz podium finish @ 11/2

The battle for best of the rest behind Red Bull has ebbed and flowed throughout the season and there is likely to be a great scrap for the podium places in Mexico.

Hamilton has failed to score a point in the last two races, but that is no reflection of his form as he arguably should be considered the most likely winner beyond Verstappen.

Meanwhile his team-mate George Russell stormed from the back of the field to finish fourth in Qatar after tangling with Hamilton in the first corner, and he may appreciate the return to a conventional weekend format.

With four straight podium finishes, Lando Norris can't be left out of the equation, although the slow corners may not suit his McLaren.

Ferrari could be underrated by the markets after Charles Leclerc's pole position in Texas. The team have been quick in qualifying for most of the year, and the characteristics of the Mexican track should suit their car in race conditions too.

Carlos Sainz has struggled to match his Ferrari team-mate Leclerc recently, but he has shone on circuits with tricky, low-speed sections and could have the edge in Mexico.

In a trappy fight for the podium spots, the Spaniard, who won in Singapore last month, could be a value choice at 11/2.

Alex Albon points finish @ 7/4

Williams are on course for their best season since 2017, sitting seventh in the constructors' championship.

All bar one of their 26 points have been scored by Alex Albon, and the ex-Red Bull man could add to the tally in Mexico.

It has been an up-and-down season for Williams, but the combination of slow corners and a long straight has generally seen them at their best.

Aero is an area of weakness on the car but that is less important in Mexico than at a lot of circuits.

Albon's backers did not collect after his points finish in Texas, as that was inherited following the disqualifications of Hamilton and Leclerc, but he finished 11th on the road which is encouraging.

The Mexican track is likely to suit Albon's Williams better and a top-10 finish is worth a punt at 7/4.

Esteban Ocon points finish @ 4/6

Alpine are almost certainly being affected by off-track dramas but they have a decent car and two talented drivers, and have collected 100 points this season.

Esteban Ocon has been out of luck lately, failing to finish three of the last five races.

However, he has reached the top-10 shootout in qualifying at three of the last four events, and should be finishing in the points given an incident-free afternoon on Sunday.

Ocon has had more than his share of misfortune recently, retiring in Texas due to damage from a first-lap coming together with McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

However, nine of the 11 races Ocon has actually reached the finish of this season have seen him collect points and it's worth taking the risk at 4/6 that he can stay out of trouble on Sunday.

Adam Scriven's Mexican Grand Prix Tips

Carlos Sainz podium finish @ 11/2
Alex Albon points finish @ 7/4
Esteban Ocon points finish @ 4/6

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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