2019 Mexican Grand Prix
- Sunday, October 27, 2019
- Gran Premio de Mexico
- F1 World Championship
It’s always a funny old race, this one. The altitude plays with all the variables in a way F1’s clever people – who try to impose order upon the crazy technology and intense competition – are not used to. The effects on the airflow and engines of 25 per cent less air are easy enough for them to predict, but the wild variation in track temperature that’s also a consequence of the thinner air, and the effects of that upon the remaining black art of F1 – the tyres – is not.
Practice running suggested that because the soft (the C4 at this race) would fall to pieces so quickly, its compound way too delicate for the loads imposed upon it, and the hard was too slow, it would inevitably be a two-stop race. Even for the top three teams who’d be able to qualify in Q2 on the medium and thus start the race on it.
But that’s not how it went at all. The Friday long runs were conducted on a track with a temperature of 34C. The race began with the tarmac at 44C. That 10C difference changed the pattern completely, requiring those clever people to interpret the new patterns in live time – and make crucial time-sensitive decisions based upon them. They always do that of course but the variables were swinging much more wildly here.
Permanent road course
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Benz F1 W09 EQ Power+), 1m18.741, 122.254 mph, F1, 2018
First Race1962 Mexican Grand Prix