Posted 1 years ago

Auto Racing General

5 lessons from the Mexico City Grand Prix practice

5 lessons from the Mexico City Grand Prix practice
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As teams gear up for the Mexico City Grand Prix, here are 5 lessons learnt from Friday’s practice session:

1) Red Bull’s dream pace: Red Bull are having another impressive season with drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez helping the team to a constructor’s championship win, which they last won in 2013. The RB18 has already demonstrated its competence on all surfaces, and this circuit was no different, as it beat Ferrari, who traditionally have better control over low-fuel pace. This has also given fans hope of a dream finish if Sergio Perez can win the race in his home nation.

2) Ferrari put up a strong fight for pole position: While Charles Leclerc suffered a crash, Ferrari’s performance was boosted by Carlos Sainz who demonstrated a good pace from the start of the race. Furthermore, the F1-75 demonstrated its overall competence, including the ability to negotiate high speed turns, and thereby signalling that the fight between Ferrari and Red Bull will be a closely fought one.

3) Mercedes’ fast corners: Mercedes also demonstrated its strengths with a P3 position in low-fuel pace and race pace and being at least 0.2 seconds closer to Ferrari and Red Bull, than the next fastest contender, Austin. According to trackside chief Andrew Shovlin, while the team car has been reliable in both single and multi-lap pace, increased downforce has simultaneously helped in navigating slow corners quickly, while eating into the pace in straight sections.

4) Alpine dominates the midfield: Based on their high-speed performance in the practice session, it seems likely that Alpine will beat McLaren to P4 in the constructors’ championship. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon looked strong, while newcomer Jack Doohan suffered a power unit problem. The team also ended as the fourth best in the low-fuel trim, with improvements to be made in the race pace.

5) The battle for the lower points: With a highly competitive midfield, with Alpine, AlphaTauri, Aston Martin, McLaren and AlfaRomeo separated by 0.19 seconds in long-run pace, the battle for the lower order points is expected to be close. The five teams are similarly separated by 0.16 seconds in the low-fuel pace, and the outcomes on race day will depend on how teams can analyse the data from the practice sessions to shape their upcoming performance.

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