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Preview GP Mexico 2015: Formula 1 on new territory

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Preview GP Mexico 2015
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D the World Cup has been decided. The titles have been awarded. Nevertheless, Formula 1 will not be boring. Just 7 days after the Texas cracker in Austin, another highlight is the race in Mexico City. The premier class is returning to Central America. After 1992, the fastest roundabout in the world is doing its laps again in the 20 million metropolis of Mexico City.

The comeback has triggered a true Formula 1 boom in Mexico. The 90,000 tickets were sold out in a few hours. The organizers hastily set up additional stands to meet the high demand. The pressure is mainly on local hero Sergio Perez. After finishing third and fifth in Sochi and Austin, expectations have grown.

On the other hand, there is no longer any pressure on Lewis Hamilton. The newly crowned three-time world champion would have liked to have partied a little longer. But anyone who knows Hamilton knows that he will not give up the last 3 races straight away just because the title has been decided. For teammate Nico Rosberg, the domestic German duel is not just about second place in the World Cup, but also about saying goodbye to the winter break with a sense of achievement.

The route - Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

Car races have been held in the Magdalena Mixhuca Park in Mexico City since the inauguration in 1959. Since 1979 the circuit has been called Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, named after the racing driver brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez. The route is still in the same place, but has changed its layout several times. The current version lacks the legendary Peraltada curve - an elevated 180 ° bend at the end of the lap.

Instead, the route has been given a new trademark with the renovation carried out by Hermann Tilke. Shortly before turning onto the home straight, the cars have to pass through a former ballpark. More than 20,000 spectators watch the action from the stands. The 1.314 kilometer straight is also one of the unique sections of the route. According to the first simulations, the cars here will probably be capable of 360 km /h - more than in Monza.

The layout is otherwise varied. There are a lot of slow corners. But there are also some fast corners. Especially the S-curves between the two stadium-like sections should give the pilots pleasure. Compared to before, however, they became somethingdefused. A question mark still hovers over the asphalt. New flooring always exudes a little oil in the first few months. Together with the dust from the construction work, we expect little grip.

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Fast facts about the GP Mexico:

  • Distance: 4.304 km
  • Number of laps: 71
  • Distance from pole to T1: 800 meters
  • Length of pit lane: 650 meters
  • DRS zones: on the home straight and on the straight in front of T4
  • Top speed: 360 km /h (simulation)
  • Brake load: high
  • Tire wear: medium
  • Engine load: high
  • Fuel consumption: low
  • Tire compounds: Soft /Medium

Setup:

The engineers and drivers expected in Mexico is a particular challenge. The metropolis with millions of inhabitants is 2,250 meters above sea level. The air is thinner and contains 22 percent less oxygen. In contrast to naturally aspirated engines, turbos do not lose power at altitude. The turbines just have to run a little faster. The reduced air resistance ensures lower fuel consumption and higher top speeds.

The wings generate less downforce due to the thin air. That's why the teams will drive maximum downforce despite the eternally long straights - and still set top speed records. The cooling of the brakes and the motor is also no longer as efficient. Here the engineers have to screw special parts onto the cars. The springs are tuned rather hard and deep. The new route does not yet have any bumps. The curbs are flat.

The technology updates:

As already mentioned, the teams will be with some special Mexico components. Mercedes has already tried out a new cooling concept for the engine on Nico Rosberg's car in Austin. It can be easily recognized by the additional air scoops on the outside of the airbox and the larger openings in the rear. We also expect innovations in terms of brake ventilation. Lotus was already testing new carbon stopper panels on Grosjean's car in Austin. Anyone who is wrong about cooling can no longer be helped. Some engineers expect a significantly higher failure rate in Mexico than usual.

TheFavorites:

The unusual conditions in Mexico hold the potential for surprises. The mountain air cannot be simulated in the factories. However, all cars are equally affected, so ideally they should all suffer to a similar extent. But maybe some engineers have found solutions and master the race on unfamiliar terrain better than others.

The weather could also play a role, as it did in Austin. Rainfall is forecast for the weekend - though not quite as bad as in Texas. Of course, the favorite role goes back to the Silver Arrows. Hamilton travels to Mexico with 3 wins in a row. The world champion is hard to beat at the moment.

Behind we expect Ferrari in number 2 in dry conditions. Force India could manage another surprise from the Mercedes customer teams. The somewhat higher air resistance compared to Williams does not play such a big role in the mountain air. Both teams could make life difficult for Ferrari. Lotus is also a sure point candidate.

It is unclear how well the Red Bull teams are doing in Mexico. The long straights and high top speeds do not speak for the Renault power. Before the race in Austin, however, it was not necessarily expected that Ricciardo would collect leading laps and Verstappen would finish fourth in the end. On the other hand, we do not expect McLaren and Sauber on their own in the points.

In our gallery we have the first pictures of the preparations for the comeback of the GP Mexico.

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