Force India looking to secure fourth
What’s their winning strategy in Mexico?
This is an important weekend for Sahara Force India as they battle for fourth place with Williams Martini Racing in the Constructors’ Championship. They currently lead Williams by eight points, but will need a strong weekend in Mexico in order to beat them, as Williams scored a podium finish here last season. Force India has a pace advantage in qualifying and an opportunity to be versatile on their strategy. If they were to qualify outside the top ten they could try a one-stop race as they did last season with Sergio Perez, who’s excellent tire management could give them the edge here.
Race Strategy Briefing
A technical track: Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
The majority of corners are at low speed, with only one high speed section. Engine power doesn't dominate here.
The supersoft and soft compounds will be preferred this weekend, with the supersoft being the qualifying tire.
Two-stop strategy likely
The track surface is now a year old so there will be more rubber down and more grip on offer.
Strong chance of the Safety Car
The Safety Car historically appears in Mexico. Last year Valtteri Bottas used it to make a 'free' pit-stop and finish on the podium.
Altitude speeds up the cars
The track is at an altitude of 2,200 meters. The thinner air allows the cars to reach speeds of 360km/h.
Mexico, Mexico City
October 30 | 13:00 local time, 20:00 CET
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, named after the pioneering 1960s F1 racing brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez, hosted the Mexican Grand Prix from 1963 to 1970 and again from 1986 to 1992. Like Albert Park in Melbourne and Monza, Italy the circuit is built in a public park. The circuit was modified for its 2015 relaunch, removing the daunting high speed Peraltata 180-degree corner. Other modifications mean that the revised 16-corner circuit is around 100m longer than before. The main straight is over 1.2 km long. This is the highest altitude of any F1 Grand Prix on the calendar at 2,285 meters above sea level. This will present less of an issue for the turbo powered F1 cars of today than for the normally aspirated engines of the past, which lost engine power due to thin air density. The organizers welcomed 120,000 spectators at the 2015 race, which was won by Nico Rosberg and was warmly embraced by fans and teams alike.
Circuit length 4.304 km
Race distance 305.354 km
Race winner 2015 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Pirelli allocation Supersoft/Soft/Medium
What marks out the revised Hermanos Rodriguez circuit is the high altitude - 2,250m, which means that the air is less dense and therefore the cars pass through it more quickly, leading to estimated top speeds of 360km/h on the main straight. Brakes will also be hard to cool with the less dense air. The track is quite hard on the tires and therefore teams will need to be responsive on race strategy. Only during Friday practice will they develop a more accurate picture of tire degradation and therefore the optimum strategy.
In collaboration with James Allen