Pirelli say there are “interesting challenges” ahead at the Mexican Grand Prix, which could again lead to a mixture of strategies.
The nature of the track surface, coupled with the tyre selections, in Austin last time out made for interesting viewing in the race as teams deviated from their usual one-stop strategies and opted to pit at least twice, as strategies varied from garage to garage.
As for this weekend in Mexico, Pirelli have opted to bring the same three compounds with them – the C2 (hard), C3 (medium) and C4 (soft) tyres, which are in the middle of the tyre manufacturer’s range this season.
Unlike in America, however, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has not had any significant changes or resurfacing since Formula 1’s last visit in 2019, which should not lead to anything unexpected for the teams.
Given the variation of corners throughout the circuit though, Pirelli expect to see teams take a different approach to race strategies this weekend.
— Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) November 4, 2021
Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing, Mario Isola, said: “The high altitude in particular, as well as the circuit layout itself, always throws up a number of interesting challenges and surprises in Mexico, so it is often an unpredictable race with a wide variety of strategic options.
“Last time, the medium and the hard were the main tyres the teams focused on during the race – depending on the amount of graining and sliding seen on the softs, this might be the case again this year. So understanding the performance gap between the softs and the mediums will be key for qualifying.
“Mexico is a historic and exciting circuit so after a two-year absence, we are delighted to be heading back.
“The race is held at roughly the same time of year as two seasons ago and there are no significant track alterations since then – apart from one small bit of resurfacing before Turn 1 to level out a bump – but the cars have changed a lot, so it’s hard to say if the data from 2019 is still relevant.”
Mexico is largely expected to favour the characteristics of the Honda power unit, given the circuit’s altitude, which should favour Red Bull heading into the weekend.
Max Verstappen has called on his team to “nail” the start of the triple-header of races which starts in Mexico City, with the World Championship leader sitting 12 points in front of Lewis Hamilton at this stage.
Mexican Grand Prix preview
As F1 arrives for the Mexican Grand Prix, here is what we can expect...