2022 Mexican Grand Prix – Preview
“Mexico is a completely different challenge to the two races that came before it”
“Over the course of a season, our tyres have to cope with a wide variety of conditions depending on the individual characteristics of each venue. If you look back at the last two races, Suzuka was all about lateral forces and Austin was well-balanced aerodynamically, but Mexico this weekend focuses on traction and braking. The Hermanos Rodriguez circuit does not offer a lot of grip and the energy demands on the tyres are reasonably low, as the cars do not generate much downforce in the thin air at high altitude, especially in slow corners. This year, the circuit might be more front-limited, as the current generation of car tends to understeer through slow corners – which Mexico has plenty of – and this can lead to some sliding on the front tyres. Due to the nature of the venue the circuit tends to feature a dusty surface with plenty of track evolution. Understanding this and getting the tyre warm-up exactly right is likely to be the key to success.”
THE TYRES ON TRACK
- As was the case last weekend, the C2 is the P Zero White hard, C3 is the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 is the P Zero Red soft.
- Mexico is the highest event on the Formula 1 calendar at more than 2200 metres above sea level. The thin air affects engines as well as aerodynamics, generating less downforce at lower speeds especially. With this year’s ground effect floors, it’s going to be interesting to note the impact on downforce compared to last year.
- There’s quite a lot of temperature variation during the day in Mexico, even in the space of a few hours, which affects thermal degradation: an important parameter that the teams will need to monitor.
- The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is the ‘contingency plan’ to replace the cancelled 2023 tyre test planned for the Japanese Grand Prix. The FP2 session in Mexico will run for 90 minutes to assess the softer slick compounds for next year, while in Austin the harder prototypes were run. As was the case last Friday, the entire session will be devoted to the tyre test with Pirelli setting the run plan. If a team uses a young driver for FP1, it is allowed to run its own programme for the first part of FP2 before concentrating on the tyre test for the remainder of the session. The prototype tyres don’t carry coloured markings on the sidewalls.
The FIA Motorsport Games takes place this weekend at Paul Ricard in France, with Pirelli as official tyre supplier. A wide range of more than 3300 tyres will be supplied to cover an equally wide range of disciplines, from single-seaters to rally cars to touring cars – highlighting Pirelli’s engagement in over 250 different championships all over the world.
Toyota driver Sebastien Ogier won the all-asphalt Catalunya Rally de Espana last weekend, on Pirelli P Zero tyres. The championship now draws to a close at Rally Japan next month from 10-13 November, which will also be held on asphalt.