Hamilton wins the GP of USA and now the 4th title is in sight
One more win for Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at Austin, Texas – USA in the F1 championship (where many teams involved are equipped by BMC).
The gap to Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) is now 66 points, as Vettel was on second place. Hamilton needs only to finish 5th in Mexico GP to reach his 4th title.
GP of Mexico featuring 360 kph top speed
After the recent race in the United States, the Formula 1 cars will stay on the continent for the 18th competition in the 2017 World Championship at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (October 27-29). The track is named after the Rodriguez brothers, Ricardo and Pedro, both Formula 1 drivers who lost their lives prematurely in track accidents.
Brembo has three production plants in Mexico: Puebla, Apodaca and Escobedo. Inaugurated twelve months ago, the plant in Escobedo extends across more than 35.000 square meters feet and can produce 2 million aluminum calipers every year.
Although the circuit is located 2.229 meters above sea level, the altitude does not affect the braking system. What excites the most about this track is the speed peaks: last year the two Ferrari cars reached 367 km/h. Temperature of the tarmac can have a big influence on the temperature of the discs and calipers. During last year's race, these never got up to 20°C but in the second free practice, they did hit 27°C.
The increase in grip on the tarmac during the race weekend typically leads to a rise in the amount of braking torque discharged to the ground. What's more, this year's new shape of the single-seaters results in even more braking torque than in the past.
According to Brembo technicians, who have ranked the 20 World Champion circuits on a scale of 1 to 10, Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is very demanding on the brakes. The Mexican track earned a 10 on the difficulty index, which is identical to the circuits in Montreal, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.
Brake use during the GP
The brakes are used on nine of the 17 corners on the track, and in the first section, brake use is especially intense due to being able to use the DRS on two different straightaways. On average over the course of one lap, each single-seater applies the brakes for 16 seconds, which is 21% of the overall duration of the race.
The winding central and final sections of the track contribute to lowering the average peak deceleration per lap, which doesn't exceed 3,4 G and is the second lowest value in the World Championship, after the 3,3 G at Suzuka. Even in Monaco the average peak deceleration per lap reaches 3,6 G.
The energy dissipated in braking throughout the GP by one single-seater however, is the highest for the entire season: 275 kWh, almost four times that of the British GP and more than the sum of the USA GP and the Brazilian GP together.
The load applied to the brake pedal by each driver from the starting line to the checkered flag is average for the World Championship: 62 tons, just about that of the Italian GP, another race where the single-seaters reach impressive speeds.
The most challenging braking sections
Of the nine braking sectionson the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, none are classified by the Brembo technicians as challenging, six are of medium difficulty and three are light.
The most demanding over all is on the first corner after the finish because the single-seaters go from 354 km/h to 107 km/h in barely 70 meters. To perform like this, the drivers apply a load of 113 kg on the brake pedal for a total of 2,85 seconds during which they experience a deceleration of 4,2 G.
On turn 4, which also follows a straight where the drivers can use the DRS, they need 3,01 seconds more so as not to enter it outside the racing line. The cars arrive going 337 km/h and slow down to 94 km/h by applying a load of 111 kg on the brake pedal.
But only 1,98 seconds and 52 meters are needed to go uphill on turn 12 and reduce the speed from 314 km/h to 134 km/h. The 4 G in deceleration proves that the braking here shouldn't be underrated, just like the 109 kg load on the brake pedal.
On the stretch between turns 4 and 10 though, the drivers use their brakes only three times and never for more than 26 meters. But none of these three braking sections require a drop in speed measuring more than 100 km/h.
The tyres situation
Like the United States Grand Prix that has just taken place, the tyres brought to Mexico will be the P Zero Yellow soft, P Zero Red supersoft and P Zero Purple ultrasoft (which reverts to its usual colour after turning pink in Austin!). The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is one of the quickest tracks of the year, and – as has been the case on a few occasions already this season – it’s the first time that the ultrasoft has been nominated there. With the race only returning to the calendar two years ago, expect to see more lap records broken this weekend.
The circuit from a tyre point of view
Surface is quite smooth and slippery, reducing tyre wear and degradation despite the high speeds (372 kph was seen in 2016).
Weather can be a question mark in Mexico City at this time of year: anything is possible.
As well as the fast corners, there is also a well-known slow and technical stadium section: an interesting mix of old and new.
Most drivers went for one stop last year, including the winner, Lewis Hamilton.
Pit lane is the longest of the year, increasing the stop time and so influencing strategy.
The analysis of…
Mario Isola – Pirelli Motorsport – Head of Car Racing
“In Mexico, we again maintain our principle of bringing softer compounds than last year whenever possible, in the pursuit of increased performance and more exciting races. This is actually the second consecutive year that we are bringing a new tyre to Mexico, as last year the supersoft was nominated there for the first time. Only two races have been run on the current version of the track before, so it’s not one of the venues that the teams are most familiar with. This means that there will be some learning to do with the ultrasoft in particular during free practice”.
Info and curiosities
21.0 psi(1.44 bar) minimum starting pressures (front slick)
19.5 psi(1.34 bar) minimum starting pressures (rear slicks)
–3.50° camber limit (front)
–2.00° camber limit (rear)
BMC News, International Online Magazine