Tyre strategy played a key role in determining the outcome of the first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years, which saw Mercedes driver Nico Roseberg triumph over his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Roseberg started on pole and adopted a two-stop soft-medium-medium strategy, but it was the high temperatures that added an exciting extra dimension to the race, causing the track to evolve and speeds to soar higher.
According to Pirelli: “With 46 degrees of track temperature and an increasing amount of rubber on the new surface, the pattern of wear and degradation seen in practice and qualifying was altered. The extra traction also helped to increase the very high top speeds seen in the thin air of Mexico, with Sebastian Vettel recording 366kph on the straight. Williams driver Felipe Massa clocked 352kph on the straight even without DRS assistance.”
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, commented: “As expected we saw two stops for the majority of competitors, at what turned out to be quite a complicated race strategically because of a surface that kept on evolving, track temperatures a full 12 degrees higher than we experienced yesterday, and a safety car towards the end of the race.
“Formula One’s return to Mexico has been a spectacular success, with an amazing and vibrant atmosphere from start to finish. As Nigel Mansell said when he interviewed the drivers on the podium: Viva Mexico!
“It’s good to know that some things don’t change: when Mexico last returned to F1 in 1986 a Pirelli-equipped car won, thanks to Gerhard Berger and Benetton, and the fans are still brilliant.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office