Mexican Grand Prix Betting: Why Sergio Perez Is The Best Bet For Glory On Home Soil This Weekend

It's been a terrific season for Sergio Perez. The Mexican driver, who is racing on home ground this weekend, is the only driver from outside the super-wealthy top teams to have made two appearances on the podium.

And one of those podium finishes give reason to believe he might just do it again this weekend. 

Mexico was the new addition to the calendar 12 months ago. The refurbished track has three major characteristics: a low-grip surface, mostly slow corners, and a terrifically long straight where drivers hit astonishing speeds.

This year's new addition to the calendar was Baku in Azerbaijan: a circuit which shares the same fundamental ingredients. No grip? Check. Lots of slow corners? Check. Humungous straight? Check.

And in Baku, Perez and his Force India team enjoyed their strongest weekend of the year so far. The Mercedes engine loved the straight and the traction from Force India's straightforward but effective chassis allowed its drivers to get the power down out of the slow corners. Perez was the second-fastest driver in qualifying, but was bumped back to seventh on the grid because he had to change his gearbox after clipping a wall in practice.

But the speed of the Force India was clearly there. In the race it proved irresistible for several of his rivals: Perez passed Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari on his way to third place. Had he started where he should have done second was definitely on.

So on paper this looks like being another good weekend for Force India. The front running teams have made gains in the four months since the Baku race but for the most part the 2017 regulations overhaul is the priority and the competitive order is little changed.

The team finished seventh and eighth in Mexico 12 months ago. Perez's race was compromised by the Safety Car. Third on that day was Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes-powered Williams, but this season Force India have eclipsed them as the leading Mercedes customer team.

With that in mind, odds of 26.00 for Perez or team mate Nico Hulkenberg to bag a place in the top three look tempting. And definitely keep a close eye on what they offer for a podium finish as well.

Both drivers demonstrated good pace last weekend but were compromised by first-lap incidents not of their making. Hulkenberg was particularly unlucky having qualified well only to go out after a tangle with Bottas. He appears to have raised his game after landing a deal to join Renault next year.

But Perez is the driver the local fans will be cheering for loudest (not forgetting fellow Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, still chasing his first point of the year). The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez features a unique podium positioned in front of a stadium packed with 40,000 fans. If Perez appears on the rostrum on Sunday expect them plus the 100,000 other spectators at the circuit to go absolutely crazy.

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic