To celebrate Formula One’s return to Mexico for the first time in 23 years, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz kicked-off a new era for the sport in the country by bringing a breath-taking demonstration of Formula One power to the historic heart of Mexico City.
More than 150,000 F1-mad fans packed every available inch of the city’s central Zocalo square – and even the surrounding balconies – to cheer on Ricciardo and Sainz as they blasted around a specially constructed course hugging the perimeter of the vast plaza in twin Red Bull Racing RB7’s.
The sheer size of the course allowed both drivers to push the double title-winning cars to the limit, and the duo wowed the massive crowd with some seriously high-speed individual runs before bringing the show to a howling climax with a joint run and the full complement of tyre-melting burn-outs and donuts.
It wasn’t just Formula One power on show, however, and in another major highlight of the day off-road driver Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildósola, thrilled the crowds with the brutal power of his Ford SVT Raptor SCORE 21 Trophy Truck.
With more than 830hp on tap, tyres more than a metre high and weighing some 5400lbs the truck is the perfect vehicle to tackle legendary cross-country races such as the gruelling Baja 1000.
“It was a great day and we had a lot of fun. The fans were awesome and that’s what these show runs are all about: getting the fans close to the cars, getting them excited about Formula One. I’m really happy they all had a good time.
“I think Mexicans are sports fanatics in general, and they’ve really embraced Formula One again,” added the Infiniti Red Bull Racing star. “I think the race at the end of the year is going to be a big success. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been 23 years since the last race in Mexico and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Sainz, who was making his first trip back to Mexico since visiting the country with his parents as a toddler, added that he is now looking forward to racing in a city with such a traditional attachment to Formula One.
“It’s great to be here and great that Formula One has returned to Mexico and I’m sure it will be good for the city and the sport,” he said. “The show run is a great way to bring fans closer to the sport. I think Mexico is a great venue for F1, the city has hosted a race in the past and it’s always nice to go back to the old-school tracks where drivers like Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell have driven.”