MORE STRATEGIES POSSIBLE IN MEXICO THANKS TO THE TYRE CHOICES
MARIO ISOLA - PIRELLI HEAD OF MOTORSPORT
“The second stop on Formula 1’s American tour takes place in Mexico City on the circuit named after Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez: the brothers who were local motorsport heroes throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The track, located on the west side of the city, is just over four kilometres long with 17 corners and it sits at more than 2000 metres of altitude. This has an important effect on car performance, with the rarefied air reducing drag and also downforce. As a result, the aero settings on the cars are similar to those used on high-downforce circuits – only with a much reduced effect on the tyres. The grip from the asphalt is also much less than average, as surface roughness is among the lowest of the entire calendar.
This year we have decided to bring the three softest compounds to Mexico – C3, C4 and C5 – after careful reflection based on last year’s information, as well as the simulations that the teams have as always supplied to us. This should lead to a wider variety of strategy choices throughout the race, opening the door to a two-stop strategy as well. Last year, when the chosen compounds were C2, C3, and C4, nearly all the drivers stopped only once, mainly using soft and medium.
Mexico also gives us the chance to try out a new variant of the C4 with all the teams. During the two hours of free practice on Friday each driver will have two sets of these new prototypes to use as they wish. Once we have analysed all the data, we will then decide whether or not to homologate this version for use in 2024.”
THE TYRES ON TRACK
- In Mexico the teams will have C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow medium and C5 as P Zero Red soft: one step softer compared to 2022.
- Graining is often seen at this track, with the cars sliding more due to the reduced aerodynamic effect and high altitude.
- Max Verstappen is the most successful driver in Mexico City, with four wins from seven participations. This also means that Red Bull has more victories than any other team in Mexico.
- A one-stopper was the most popular strategy last year. Max Verstappen started on a used set of softs and then finished the race on mediums, ahead of Lewis Hamilton who instead started on the medium tyre and finished on the hard.
- There’s a big difference in temperature between the start and the end of each day: a factor to bear in mind when it comes to analysing potential degradation rates.
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, and will 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.