Tuesday 22 October 2019

Mercedes-AMG Petronas: 2019 Mexican GP Preview.

Toto Wolff Talks Mexico
When we embarked on this journey, no one would have dreamed we would ever be able to achieve this. We hoped that we would be able to win races, maybe even a Championship and represent the Mercedes brand well - but to win six consecutive double Championships and beat a record that seemed unbeatable is very satisfying. It's an achievement that is testament to the hard work, great determination and passion of every single member of our team. Everyone in Brixworth and Brackley has done a tremendous job and we all feel very grateful to call ourselves World Champions for a sixth consecutive time.

There is no sense of entitlement in this team for future success, so we were quickly back to our usual race preparation routine after Japan. We know that the four remaining races are not going to be easy and we expect Mexico to be the most difficult one for us. The high altitude of the track brings some fairly unusual challenges as the low air density affects the downforce of the car, the cooling and the engine performance. It's a combination that doesn't particularly suit our car, but we will give it everything to try and limit the damage. We look forward to the fight and to the amazing Mexican crowd that shares our love for racing and turns the weekend into a brilliant celebration of motorsport.

Mexican Grand Prix: Fact File

  • At 4.304km, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is the second shortest circuit on the F1 calendar after the Circuit de Monaco.
  • The Mexican Grand Prix is one of three races in the season that has 71 laps, together with Brazil and Austria.
  • The 811-metre run from pole position to the first braking zone is the second longest in F1, only behind Russia. 9.6 seconds of it are completed at full throttle.
  • The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez has the highest altitude on the calendar, situated 2,285m above sea level. Before Mexico returned to the F1 calendar, the track with the highest altitude was Interlagos in Brazil, 800m above sea level.
  • Despite the high altitude, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is one of the flattest tracks on the calendar, with the third smallest elevation change - 2.8m over the 4.304km lap. Only Melbourne and Sochi, both of which are only slightly above sea level, have less elevation change.
  • The high altitude means that the ambient pressure is the lowest of the season by far, around 780mb. Oxygen levels at this altitude are 78% of what they are at sea level and this reduction in air density has an impact on the Formula One cars.
  • The Power Unit is the most affected by the low atmospheric pressure. A normally-aspirated engine would suffer a significant drop in power (around 20%). A turbocharged engine can make up for this but the turbo has to work much harder than in normal conditions to achieve it, which increases temperatures.
  • The thin air also means that it is less effective to cool the car, so the Power Unit and brakes run hotter. Bodywork with increased cooling is required to address this.
  • The thin air and increased cooling have two consequences on the aerodynamics of the car: less downforce and less drag. We run a rear wing equivalent to Monaco, but despite this, the actual downforce on the car is closer to the levels experienced in Monza.
  • Because of these factors, Mexico sees some of the highest straight-line speeds of the season with cars reaching 370km/h in a tow.
  • Some of the highest track temperatures of the year are experienced in Mexico, with an average temperature of 43.5°C and maximum temperatures of up to 52°C in previous years. This is in part due to the very dark tarmac.
  • There is a third DRS zone for the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, running between Turn 11 and Turn 12, with a detection point at Turn 10.
  • Despite the long main straight, the track has statistically the third fewest overtakes over the years.
  • The fastest corner on the circuit is Turn 9, taken at around 250 km/h. Drivers experience 4.1G through this corner, the most of any on the track. The slowest corner is Turn 13, taken at under 70km/h. This is one of the slowest turns of the entire season.

PREVIEW PROVIDED BY Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.

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