Kevin Magnussen feels the altitude this weekend will have a big effect on the Mexican Grand Prix, but he still expects it to be a low-grip race on Sunday.
The Haas F1 Team racer endured a tough United States Grand Prix last weekend, qualifying at the back of the field and ending the race as the last of the classified finishers, but he is hoping for better luck this weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The high altitude of the Mexican circuit means high speeds despite high downforce levels, and Magnussen says this has effects elsewhere on the car, particularly when it comes to cooling.
“It has a big effect on all those things,” said Magnussen. “It’s one of the tricky races that you have to compromise a lot of things in order to cool the car and find downforce.
“You don’t really notice it so much. You can feel that the air is thinner, that you have to breathe a bit more, but you get used to it.
“You need a lot of downforce there. As the air is thin, you lose downforce. It’s pretty tricky. You can see the effect it has on top speeds. Because the air is so thin, you don’t have a lot of drag from the air down the straight.
“Our maximum speeds go very high. We will have more grip and we’ll have more downforce, but it’ll still be a low-grip race.”