26
October
2015
|
11:22
Europe/Amsterdam

Mexican Grand Prix Preview: Mexico City, October 29-November 1, 2015

FORMULA ONE RETURNS TO MEXICO FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1992: MEDIUM AND SOFT COMPOUNDS FOR THE AUTODROMO HERMANOS RODRIGUEZ

WITH NO REAL DATA FROM THE TRACK, PIRELLI AND THE FORMULA ONE TEAMS HAVE MADE EXTENSIVE USE OF SIMULATION

A VARIED CIRCUIT, COMBINING FAST STRAIGHTS AND CORNERS LIKE MONZA, WITH A MORE TECHNICAL STADIUM SECTION REMINISCENT OF HOCKENHEIM

For the first time in 23 years, Formula One returns to Mexico at a reworked version of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, named after Mexico’s two most famous drivers: brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez. The circuit was originally built in 1962 in a public park, and that is not the only similarity to Monza. There are some fast straights and rapid corners that are quite similar to those of Pirelli’s home track, with the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres having been nominated for the inaugural Mexican Grand Prix of the modern era. The current circuit has been heavily revised, but still maintains plenty of the character of the original. However, with no real data from the track, Pirelli has relied instead on computer simulation to prepare for the race and decide which compounds will be most suitable. Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “It’s very exciting for us to come to Mexico, to a brand new circuit but one that is steeped in tradition at the same time. Nominating the compounds for a new track is not without its challenges, but simulation – one of the most important areas of growth in Formula One technology recently – is very accurate now, although it’s inevitable that we would incline towards a more conservative choice during the first year at a new track. As always, we are still aiming for two pit stops at the Mexican Grand Prix, but the uncertain weather that is affecting a large part of North America during the next week or so will clearly have a big influence. The track has been designed with overtaking in mind, so together with the different options for strategy that will become clearer during a very important free practice day on Friday, there is clear potential for an entertaining race that allows drivers to move up through the field.” The biggest challenges for the tyres: The best-known corner is the fast and long right-hander called Peraltada (the final corner before the pit straight) but only half of the original profile has been retained, for safety reasons. The first half of the original Peraltada has now been replaced with a technical stadium section, similar to Hockenheim. The circuit has the highest altitude of any Formula One venue all year: this affects both aerodynamics (as the engineers have to put on more wing to get the same effect in the thin air) as well as top speed. The turbocharged cars are expected to exceed 330kph on the 1.3-kilometre straight. Extreme weather is currently affecting a large part of North America. This makes the weather forecast uncertain over the next few days, with a strong probability of adverse conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Patricia. Last year’s strategy and how the race was won: With the last grand prix at the original circuit held in 1992, this is clearly not relevant. However, the last Pirelli winner at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was Gerhard Berger for Benetton in 1986, with a zero stop strategy! It was the first win for Berger and for Benetton – which eventually became the current Lotus F1 Team. Expected performance gap between the two compounds: 1.3 seconds per lap (estimated). The Pirelli team choose their race numbers: #7, Jorge Alemany, Pirelli F1 engineer “It was the number I played football with from an early age: it brought me confidence and good results so I started to love it. 7 also looks like an upper case inverted J: the first letter of my name.” Who we’re following on Twitter this week: @Susie_Wolff. A very different Twitter account to most that you find in Formula One, this chronicles Susie’s life both as a driver and as the wife of one the best known team principals in the sport. It’s a personal look at life behind the scenes of the circus. The tyre choices so far this year:

  P Zero Red P Zero Yellow P Zero White P Zero Orange
Australia   Soft Medium  
Malaysia     Medium Hard
China   Soft Medium  
Bahrain   Soft Medium  
Spain     Medium Hard
Monaco Supersoft Soft    
Canada Supersoft Soft    
Austria Supersoft Soft    
Britain     Medium Hard
Hungary   Soft Medium  
Belgium   Soft Medium  
Italy   Soft Medium  
Singapore Supersoft Soft    
Japan     Medium Hard
Russia Supersoft Soft    
USA   Soft Medium  
Mexico   Soft Medium