AN ALL-RED FRONT ROW IN MEXICO CITY
The two Ferraris will line up on the front row of the grid for the third edition of the Mexico City Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc will head the field, having secured the Scuderia’s 248th pole position. Alongside him will be his team-mate Carlos Sainz, while the second row sees three times world champion Max Verstappen in third place and a surprising Daniel Ricciardo fourth, giving AlphaTauri its best qualifying result since the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix.
THE DAY ON TRACK
As usual, the third free practice session was given over mainly to preparation for qualifying. Several drivers assessed tyre behaviour on a medium fuel load to simulate conditions that could prevail tomorrow afternoon in a hypothetical final race stint.
In qualifying, three teams – Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren – who had used two sets of Softs in FP3, did their first run in Q1 on the Medium with the aim of still having two new sets of the same compound in case they got to Q3. Ferrari managed this with both its drivers, while this choice cost Norris dear, as he failed to make the cut out of Q1, also partly because of a yellow flag situation on his second run.
The Pirelli Pole Position Award was presented by content creator Jimmy Álvarez. With his ironic product reviews, first seen on YouTube and then on TikTok, he has won over the Mexican public, acquiring millions of followers.
MARIO ISOLA - MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR
“Qualifying produced quite a few surprises, which bodes well for a spectacular race tomorrow afternoon. As has often been the case this year, qualifying was very closely contested, with the top three all within less than a tenth of one another and the top ten within less than a second. Compared to last year’s race here, the fastest time of all was a bit more than six tenths (0.609 to be precise) quicker, in line with the performance between the Soft used in 2022, the C4 and the one used today, the C5, as well as matching our previous simulations. Today, over the course of the two sessions, we saw that the track evolution stabilised.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow afternoon, we expect the one-stop will still be the favourite strategy, with two alternatives: starting on the C4 before switching to the C3 after around one third distance, or opting to start on the C3 and lengthening the first stint to two thirds of the 71 lap race. The two-stop is a possibility, using a mix of C3 and C4, but it’s not as quick as one pit stop strategy.”
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.