Mexico Track Tips and Circuit Stats

Mexican Grand Prix 2017

Did you know that the Mexico GP holds the trophy for the longest distance to Turn One on the F1 calendar?

Find out more about the circuit and it’s traits in our track guide below. 

 

  Information Stats
  Track length  4.304km/2.674 miles (second-shortest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)
  2016 pole position  Lewis Hamilton, 1m18.704s
  2016 fastest lap  Daniel Ricciardo, 1m21.134s (lap 53)
  Lap record 1:20.521s (Nico Rosberg, 2015)
  Distance to Turn One  800m/0.497 miles (longest of season)
  Longest straight  1.314km/0.816 miles, on the approach to Turn One (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles).
  Top speed 345km/h/214mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season: Monza, 360km/h/224mph)
  Full throttle 47 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent)
  Fuel consumption  1.45kg per lap, which is low
  ERS demands  High. The combination of long straights and high altitude make this one of the hardest races of the year for the ERS
  Gear changes  44 per lap/3,124 per race

 

Copyright: McLaren
Copyright: McLaren
Copyright: McLaren
Copyright: McLaren
Copyright: McLaren
Copyright: McLaren
Copyright: McLaren

Engineering challenge?

The altitude is the biggest challenge, both in terms of power and cooling. There is 75 per cent less oxygen at 2,000m compared to sea level, which affects the power produced by the internal combustion engine. There is also less air passing through the car’s systems and brakes, which places an emphasis on cooling.

How to tell when a driver’s really on it

Due to the lack of downforce, it’s easy to overdrive and make mistakes. Many of the corners are inter-linked, such as Turns One-Three; Four-Five and 13-15, so the drivers who are really on it are often the smoothest.

Trickiest bits for the driver

Braking for Turn One is tricky because the cars are travelling as fast as at Monza, but they have less downforce to help slow the car. The stadium section at the end of the lap is very slow, but a lot of time can be won and lost there, and it’s important to make a clean exit from Turn 16 because it leads onto the 1.314km (0.816-mile) start-finish straight.

Car set-up

High downforce. The teams will run similar downforce levels to the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, but the car will produce 10 per cent less load than at Monza, due to the thinner air at altitude.

Grip levels

Medium. The asphalt is two years old and relatively high-grip, but the cars produce the least amount of downforce of the year, making them feel skittish to drive.

Tyre choice

Purple Ultrasoft, red Supersoft and yellow Soft – the ninth time this combination has been used in 2017.

Brake wear

High. There are 12 braking zones, three of which are heavy. But the thin air and resultant cooling issues make this a race of high attrition for the brakes.

Tips if you’re a gamer

Beware of the car’s lack of feel! There’s a discrepancy between the Singapore-spec downforce set-up and the lack of grip, due to the thin air at high altitude. It’s easy to lock a wheel under braking, or to lean on the car too much through the Esses and run wide. There’s a lot of lap time to be won and lost through the stadium section. It’s very slow and the kerbs are high, so it’s easy to get thrown off-line.

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