The revamped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has been given a resounding thumbs up from most F1 drivers as spectators came in their tens of thousands to see the sport make its official return to Mexico.
Twenty-three years after F1 last visited the Mexico City venue, its return to the schedule has seen the layout revised and the facilities updated, while promoters have enticed almost sell-out crowds for all three days of the event.
Described as 'unique' by Mercedes' Rosberg, the circuit layout is defined by its vast 1.2km home straight which – coupled to the thin air brought about by being 2,200m above sea level – has seen cars reaching faster speeds that at Monza.
However, it is the contrast of twisty, low speed infield section that has garnered much attention, while the low grip of the oily new tarmac means drivers have been relishing the challenges of its diverse characteristics.
“It is unique,” said Rosberg. “It is smooth and doesn't have a lot of grip so we are sliding about a bit. It reminds me of my youth because the corners are tight, so it is a bit like a go-kart track, but it's great to drive.”
“The track has a nice combination of corners in sector two, but the rest of the track only has low-speed corners, like Monaco or Singapore, but with a very long straight,” added McLaren's Alonso.
Furthermore, drivers have been enjoying the spectacle of the vast 'stadium complex', which has seen organisers convert a baseball arena into a unique amphitheatre that comes alive when local hero Sergio Perez comes through.
“The entry of the stadium; I think that's a pretty good part,” said the Force India driver. “There are a lot of people, more than 40,000 people on those two corners in that little section. It's very special.”
“It was amazing to see how many spectators we already had on a Friday,” said Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. “It's quite unique to enter a sort of stadium and see that many people in those big grandstands. Then to go through those grandstands is a bit like in Singapore, just a lot bigger, and it's a great feeling.
“It's like the Race of Champions when it's in a small arena, but the fans can see the cars up and close, so let's hope they'll have fun on Sunday,” continued Alonso.