Mexico is partying this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first time the Formula 1 came to our country. It was in 1962 that the highest category of motor racing visited Aztec territory, and although it was not a scoring race, it marked an important chapter in the history of Mexican motor sport.
In that story, two important figures are the brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguezfirst idols of motorsports in Mexico and who, years later, gave their name to the racetrack, which was originally known only as Magdalena Mixhuca Circuit.
Who were the Rodriguez brothers?
Born in 1940, Pedro was the older of the two and until this year, before the victory of Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez in Monaco, he was the Mexican with the most wins in Formula 1. The native of Mexico City won South Africa in 1967 and Belgium in 1970, in addition to achieving 7 more podium finishes.
While Ricardo, born in 1942, never achieved a victory due to his premature death. However, at a young age he was noted as a prodigy. It was his talent that allowed him to reach ferrari in 1961 and became the youngest driver to drive for the Italians.
Unfortunately, the following year, precisely in the first Mexican Grand Prix, died after an accident during the training session, at just 20 years old. In his short career, he placed fourth in Belgium and sixth in Germanyboth in 1962, which remained their best results.
As for Pedro, although talented, in his early years he did not dedicate himself completely to auto racing and although he was scheduled to make his debut in 1962, he did not do so as a result of the death of his brother. He entered the category the following year, with Lotus.
But the career of the elder Rodríguez de la Vega stood out until 1967, when he was offered a seat in Cooper and won his first grand prize. He finished sixth that year and repeated it in 1968 with BRMin the two best seasons of his career.
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He died at the age of 31, in 1971, in a minor Interserie race in Nuremberg, Germany. It was after that, that the Mexican government, at that time headed by Luis Echeverriadecided to rename the Ciudad Deportiva Magdalena Mixhuca circuit and put Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.