Pirelli‘s Head of Car Racing, Mario Isola says that fans can expect to see teams nursing their tyres home on a one-stop strategy during Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix due to the circuit’s long pit lane.
As Formula 1’s official tyre partner, Pirelli have supplied the team with their ‘street circuit’ nomination for this weekend – the three softest: Supersoft, Ultrasoft and Hypersoft.
Last weekend’s United States Grand Prix served up an intriguing battle of brains between F1’s top three teams, with the first four to take the checkered flag all opting for a different strategy. However, Isola expects all degradation to be a talking point during this weekend’s race as the teams battle to make two sets lasts.
“The nomination we’re bringing to Mexico is effectively the same nomination that we would take to a street circuit,” said Isola.
“We expect the teams to keep a close eye on wear and degradation in order to manage their pace so that a one-stopper is possible, given that the total length of the pit lane means that significant time is lost.”
Last year’s Mexican Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton secure his fourth World Championship title, and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver can repeat that achievement should finish just seventh or higher.
Meanwhile, bookies favourite for Sunday and title outsider, Sebastian Vettel will be looking to make the most of the pace advantage that his Scuderia Ferrari demonstrated in Austin.
After a thrilling race in Austin, some fans called for the sport to reduce practice and testing time. The wet weather in Austin effectively deemed Friday’s two practice sessions useless for the team’s to gather data during, leaving them in the dark when planning their strategies. And with rain forecast for most of the weekend in Mexico, we could be in for yet another dramatic Grand Prix.
“The weather will be another important factor,” said Isola. “In the past we have seen a variety of conditions in Mexico at this time of year.
“It’s a track that has traditionally produced a few incidents with a safety car probability of more than 60%, so keeping some flexibility in the strategy will be paramount.”