2022 Mexican Grand Prix – Friday
WHAT WE LEARNED
- The in-season test programme for the 2023 tyres is now complete, with the teams next scheduled to drive them at the test that takes place after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when they will sample the definitive specification. As was the case at Austin last weekend, a specially extended 90-minute FP2 session was held for the purposes of tyre testing, even though a 20-minute delay due to a red flag and track repairs interrupted running.
- The fastest time of the day was recorded on the 2022 P Zero Red soft tyres, with Mercedes driver George Russell setting a best FP2 time of 1m19.970 seconds.
- Weather conditions were sunny in the early afternoon but then overcast for FP2, peaking at 28 degrees centigrade ambient and 42 degrees on track during the first part of the session before significantly decreasing in the second half to 34 degrees. The forecast remains mixed over the weekend, with a chance of rain.
- The teams used their allocated race weekend tyres during FP1, which ran for the normal 60 minutes. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was fastest on the P Zero Red soft with a time of 1m20.707s.
- There was a ‘green’ track this morning that nonetheless offered reasonable grip, with some degree of evolution. As the race weekend tyres were run for the most part in FP1 only (as was also the case in Austin) the teams will collect data to finalise their strategies in FP3 tomorrow. The indications so far suggest an estimated performance gap of approximately 1.0 seconds between P Zero White hard and P Zero Yellow medium, and nearly 0.6s between medium and soft.
“It was a busy day in Mexico City, with the teams running as much as possible to gather race weekend data in FP1, and then completing our tyre test in FP2, which focussed on the softer compounds after assessing the harder compounds in Austin last weekend. The red flag interruptions – particularly the first one – meant that some teams weren’t able to complete the programme, but we still collected a useful amount of information to analyse. As expected in Mexico, we saw some track evolution, but the track was generally in better condition than we anticipated, offering reasonable grip from the start. From the point of view of this weekend’s race, the teams are missing a bit of data compared to usual, which means that the work done tomorrow in FP3 will be particularly important. The drivers ran mainly the hard and the soft tyres today; we had a bit of sliding on the hard but contained degradation on the soft, which means that it should make an interesting race tyre as well.”
THE BIG NUMBER: 2397
This was the total number of kilometres covered by the 2023 prototype tyres during today’s FP2 session, involving all 10 teams. Added to the 2823 kilometres covered during FP2 in Austin, this makes a total of 5220 kilometres between the two sessions.