Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez - A Mix of Speed and Passion in One of the Largest Cities in the World
Built in the public park
Since its opening, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is the most important racing venue in Mexico and Central America. It was built in the southeast of the Mexican capital as a part of the big sports complex, in a public park called Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City. The idea of building the racing track was born in 1958 and next year, the circuit was finished and ready to host first races. The existing road network was used for the track that instantly became very popular among the drivers.
Originally, the circuit was named Magdalena Mixhuca and the winner of the first 500-miles race held at the new venue was Pedro Rodriguez while Ricardo finished third. Sadly, Ricardo was killed in the crash at the same place in 1962, during the first non-championship Formula 1 race in Mexico. He was only 20 years old and as a sign of respect Mexican president ordered that the venue has to be renamed to Autodromo Ricardo Rodriguez.
Autodrom Hermanos Rodriguez – Home of Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix
In 1963, Formula 1 championship race was held for the first time and the Mexican Grand Prix was regular on the calendar until 1970. Unfortunately, security wasn’t at the highest level, even by the standards of that time, and often the races were interrupted by dogs and other animals on the track. In 1970, more than 200.000 passionate fans arrived to see the race and in one moment several spectators were on the track, causing a delay. Surprisingly, no one was injured during the race but that adverse set of circumstances left Mexican capital without Grand Prix race until 1986.
After Pedro Rodriguez’s death at Norisring, the circuit was renamed to Autodromo Hermanos (Brothers) Rodriguez in 1972. Over the years the track hosted many national racing competitions. In 1980 and 1981, IndyCar races also were held there before the Formula 1 comeback in 1986. The race of the most prominent series was regular until 1992 when it was dropped from the calendar, losing its place by new tracks built worldwide. Finally, in 2015 F1 returned for the second time to Mexico and that race was a big success.
Arrival of the American racing championships
The late 1990s were hard and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was almost closed. The salvation has come from the US after Gerald Forsythe, one of the owners of CART Series, decided to bring the race to Mexico City and to invest some cash into the modernization of the venue. In the mid-2000s NASCAR Nationwide series race also arrived at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and over the years helped the growth of the local stock car racing scene. The counter-clockwise run 1.609 km long oval is used for the stock car races at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Current layout of Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez was supervised by Herman Tilke
The circuit layout was changed many times over the years. Current Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, approved by unavoidable German architect Herman Tilke, is 4.304 km long with 17 turns and the stands capacity of 100.000 but a total of around 250.000 can watch the race from the various spots. Because of the high elevation, this is one of the most demanding tracks on the Formula 1 calendar for both drivers and the cars. One of the circuit’s trademarks is a very fast final corner that makes sling effect before the 1 km long start/finish straight. Record lap time holder is Nico Rosberg who set the time of 1:20.521 during the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix.
Home to several other racing series
The main event of the year is Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix but Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez also hosts other prominent racing events like the FIA World Endurance Championship race 6 Hours of Mexico City, Formula E Mexican ePrix, NASCAR Toyota, and NASCAR Mexico T4 Series.
Stadium inside the track
One of the things that make this racing venue so unique is the fact that a part of the circuit, inside the turn 14 which is also known as Peraltada, is used as the baseball stadium. This part of the circuit is also well suited for the big musical events and many famous singers and bands, like Radiohead, Metallica, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Madonna or Paul McCartney for example, had concerts there.
Getting there and accommodation
As one of the biggest cities in the world, Mexico City has excellent connections with almost all parts of the world. The circuit is not far away from the International Airport. The traffic jams are frequent so it’s a better solution to get to the circuit by using a metro.
Accommodation definitely won’t be a problem as the Mexican capital offers many various types at affordable prices.
Video – Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez onboard with Nico Rosberg
Address: Granjas Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Phone: +52 55 5764 8400