2022 Mexican Grand Prix – Saturday
THE ROAD TO POLE
- Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed his sixth pole position of the season, using the P Zero Red tyres from start to finish of qualifying.
- Despite a forecast threat of rain during the day, qualifying (which started at 3pm local time) stayed dry with ambient temperatures of 28 degrees centigrade and 48 degrees on track. The chance of rain is lower tomorrow but not insignificant, at around 40% according to Meteo France.
- Mercedes driver George Russell was fastest in FP3, again using the soft tyres. The FP3 session was more important than normal, as the teams were missing some information on the slick tyres (especially the P Zero Yellow medium) after devoting yesterday’s FP2 to tyre testing. With FP3 run at quite a similar time of the day to tomorrow’s race, the information obtained was useful in terms of formulating strategy.
- The Pirelli Pole Position Award was presented by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Domit, the President of America Movil and the well-known Escuderia Telmex racing team, which was founded in 2002 to support Latin American drivers at every stage of their careers. Some of the most famous graduates include Pietro Fittipaldi, Tatiana Calderon, and of course Sergio Perez.
The 71-lap Mexican Grand Prix (the third-shortest lap of the year) could be a two-stopper or a one-stopper, depending on degradation rates, which can vary from team to team and driver to driver – as well as being influenced by the weather.
A two-stopper is fastest on paper: starting on the soft before two stints on the medium. This strategy is only possible for the 10 drivers who have two sets of mediums still available in their allocation. Soft-medium-soft is an alternative two-stopper.
A medium-hard one-stopper is close to that in terms of overall time while the alternative medium to soft one-stopper is definitely slower.
For Pirelli, the link between road car product and racing tyres forms an integral part of the company’s DNA from the very early days of its history. This is perfectly symbolised by Mexico’s most famous race: the Carrera Panamericana. It’s unique event in terms of tradition and history, originally taking place between 1950 and 1954 across Mexico, which was frequently contested by motorsport’s top stars: just like the Mille Miglia or Targa Florio. Since 1988, it has been revived as a closed-road event for modified historic cars and was sponsored by Pirelli in 2021.