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Alexandra Mohnhaupt has concluded her second season of the FIA Mexican Formula 4, finishing fifth overall in the standings with a career best P3 finish at Hermanos Rodriguez last weekend.
Host to the Mexican F1 Grand Prix, the legendary circuit to the East of Mexico City is a technical circuit with long straights – a characteristic which would later play against Mohnhaupt in her final round of the season. A late call by the series organiser was made to delay the scheduled dates of the season finale, which allowed Mohnhaupt and the MOMO F4 team to go testing in Puebla some days prior.
Speaking about her weekend, Mohnhaupt said:
"Practice was moved to Saturday and featured two sessions of one hour, and it was difficult because I couldn’t find the time. We looked at the data and could see our top speeds were off, but in the high speed corners we were fast and so I tried to keep going a bit faster through those."
"I qualified P7 and used one new set of tyres during qualifying. I was losing +1.5s in a straight line, but +1.3s off pole position. The Top 5 cars on the grid were within a second of each other."
Sunny conditions were in full effect in Mexico's capital city during the race weekend, but the power deficit of Mohnhaupt's engine would sadly limit her progress once the racing got underway. The young Mexican driver maintained her composure and concentrated on her input, while also taking the time to greet her fans for autograph signings and photographs.
"I had a good start in Race 1 and passed two cars, but at the end of the straight they had passed me again. I also had problems downshifting from fitfth and sixth gear. By the end of the second lap, the guys in front had driven away and I was covering the guys behind me until the end of the race."
"I started P2 under the reverse grid order for Race 2 and my start was okay. I was passed at the end of the straight again by two cars and the car behind hit me, but luckily my car didn't sustain damage. There was more chaos behind me at the start of the race as the fastest drivers wanted to get passed, but they were fighting amongst each other. By the end of the race I was P3 and defending my position.
"My final race I started P7 and was fighting for P5 when my car suddenly turned off with five laps to go."
It was another bittersweet weekend for Mohnhaupt, who displayed excellent pace had it not been for engine and gearbox troubles. The long straight sections at Hermanos Rodriguez were punishing, but a podium finish is a well earned result for Mohnhaupt who has mastered her craft well in the F4 car.
Mohnhaupt's manager Henry James added:
"In a season in which pressure was on Alexandra to perform well as a second year driver, I am proud of Alexandra's development this year as she has faced a number of challenges, including a shoulder injury which required surgery mid-season.
"Her results at Hermanos Rodriguez were not reflective of her true performance and it's key that we continue to push and benchmark her development against other drivers. However, to see Alexandra on the podium in Mexico City was a target long overdue and I believe she drove a very mature race to hold onto her position. Alexandra will test a Formula 3 in Europe in the coming weeks as we begin to prepare for her 2018 season with the support of Rolle Capital."
Since her F4 debut in 2015, Mohnhaupt has undoubtedly established her footing in the motorsport world and her ambitions to race in Europe are the talk of the moment for her and her management. Stay tuned for upcoming F3 news over the summer period.