Mexican driver Alfonso Celis Jnr will appear for Force India in the first practice session for this weekend’s race at his home track, the team has announced.
Celis has made eight practice session appearances for the team but was unable to take part in last year’s Mexican Grand Prix because he was taking part in the Jerez round of the Formula V8 3.5 championship.
Celis will take over Esteban Ocon’s car for the session, meaning the only two Mexican drivers taking part in the weekend will both drive for Force India in first practice.
“I am lucky I get to race in my country in front of my fans,” said Perez. “Their support means so much to me and it’s inspiring to see fans waving the Mexican flag in every grandstand. I really want to give them a special result to celebrate.”
“The track is quite fun to drive and being on those long straights is special,” he added. “Because of the altitude, even though you’re running high wings, you still achieve very high speeds and it’s really hard to stop the car under braking – in that sense it feels like a bit like Monza.”
Celis is racing in Formula V8 3.5 again this year. The championship made its first visit to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez last month where Celis posted a best result of second in race two. He is one of six drivers capable of winning the championship at next month’s double-header finale in Bahrain.
Team co-owner Vijay Mallya is hopeful the team will confirm its fourth place in the constructors’ championship this weekend, equalling its best-ever finish.
“We’ve had the fourth quickest car for the last three events and picked up significant points with both cars,” he said. “It means we’ve edged even closer to securing fourth place in the championship with an opportunity to mathematically secure this result in Mexico this week.”
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4 comments on “All-Mexican line-up for Force India in first practice”
24th October 2017, 17:56
That’s also what Force India could have done last year.
24th October 2017, 20:23
I definately did not firmly believe esteban was Mexican. Now that would be silly.
ADUB SMALLBLOCK (@waptraveler)
25th October 2017, 15:23
Celis raced in a Formula V8 3.5 last year’s race weekend.
25th October 2017, 9:42
Cool for the Mexican fans I guess. A bit annoying for Esteban who is closing in on Perez in the championship, he won’t be too pleased.
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