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Mexico to award this year's pole position winner with replica helmets of the legendary brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodríguez – automobilsport.com – automobilsport.com


•    The 60th anniversary of the first Formula 1® race in Mexico City will be celebrated with this special tribute to the two brothers who give their name to the Mexican race track

•    Ricardo Rodríguez remains the youngest Ferrari F1® driver in history while older brother Pedro triumphed in both Formula 1® and major international sportscar races

The winner of this year’s pole position at the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022 Presented by Heineken, will receive replicas of the iconic helmets of the brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez de la Vega, two of the most famous and successful drivers in the history of Mexican motorsport.

The driver that sets the fastest time in qualifying will receive these two helmets in memory of the brothers who have given their name to the Mexico City circuit. This year marks the 60th anniversary of both the first-ever Formula 1 race to be held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and also the tragic of death of Ricardo Rodríguez.

It’s not the first time the pole position holder has received such an award. Back in 2021, Valtteri Bottas was presented with a replica of the helmet of Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio. This year, the Fangio Foundation in collaboration with the organising committee of the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022 Presented by Heineken have decided to maintain the award, but on this occasion to honour the Rodríguez legends.

“It is a great honour to collaborate again with the Fangio Foundation to offer an invaluable gift to the winner of the pole position of our event. The Rodríguez brothers are great heroes of motorsport not only in Mexico, but also in Latin America and throughout the world.

I am sure that just as Valtteri Bottas was honoured to receive Fangio’s replica, the 2022 pole winner will be delighted to collect both helmets on this special 60th anniversary of the arrival of Formula 1 in our country,” said Federico González Compean, general director of the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022 Presented by Heineken.

Mexico City hosted its first non-championship F1 race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in 1962 named in honour of Pedro and the younger Ricardo. The latter continues to hold the record for being the youngest Ferrari driver to take part in a Grand Prix, while Pedro made his mark in sportscars, winning both the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours and Daytona 24 Hours, as well as taking two F1 victories.

Early in his career, Ricardo Rodríguez caught the attention of Luigi Chinetti, the director of Ferrari in the United States under the NART (North American Racing Team) designation. After achieving second place overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Mexican was invited by Enzo Ferrari to compete in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, where he qualified on the front row at just 19 years, six months and 27 days.

For 19 years he held the record as the youngest driver to start in the world championship — a feat that Max Verstappen currently holds — and remains the youngest F1 driver to compete for the Scuderia in F1.

In a difficult 1962 season, Ferrari decided not to travel to Mexico for the inaugural non-championship F1 race held at the Autódromo de la Ciudad Deportiva Magdalena Mixhuca (now Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez) in Mexico City.

In Ferrari’s absence, Ricardo found a seat in a Lotus-Climax run by Rob Walker. What was meant to be a celebration turned to tragedy when the young Rodríguez fatally crashed in qualifying at the notorious Peraltada curve, putting a premature end to one of the most promising racers to hail from Mexico.

Ricardo’s sudden loss was a blow to Pedro, however he showed great courage and returned to the wheel a year later to become one of the greatest drivers of all time. Particularly adept in wet-weather, (that earnt him the nickname ‘cat eyes’) it was in sportscars driving the white-knuckle Porsche 917 that Pedro truly made his mark.

The design of Ricardo and Pedro’s helmets are iconic, with Ricardo’s utilising his favourite colour yellow and featuring Ferrari’s famous Cavallino Rampante logo on the front. Meanwhile Pedro used a metallic grey livery with a navy blue stripe that borders the visor. A similar design was used in tribute by Sergio Pérez at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix — a race which the man from Guadalajara won.

The organisers of the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO 2022 Presented by Heineken are grateful to the Fangio Foundation in helping create these two replica helmets for the pole position winner for the race that will take place on October 28-30, 2022 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

Carla Corbet, photos N.KRUSH
11.10.2022 / MaP
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