Even as the season is winding down, the pace is always set on high in Formula One. This will be especially true at Mexico, with the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez being one of the fastest circuits in Formula One.
The 4.304-kilometre (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1963, but in preparation for Formula One’s return in 2015, it was completely revamped. Noted track designer Hermann Tilke penned the new layout, which followed the general outline of the original course.
The entire track was resurfaced with new pit, paddock and spectator stands constructed. The most notable changes from the old layout to the current version were an added sequence of corners comprising turns one, two and three, along with a revised set of corners through the Foro Sol baseball stadium which was built inside the famed and feared Perlatada corner, which serves as the track’s final turn.
The new asphalt made for a slippery surface in 2015, but with a year of age and a handful of other racing series competing on the track since, grip levels should increase.
Augmenting the unknown grip levels is Mexico City’s high altitude. Sitting 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) above sea level, the thin air means there is less downforce on the cars. And the engines, particularly the turbo units, have to work harder to produce the same power. To compensate for this, teams run more downforce than they would at similarly fast tracks like Monza and Baku.
But with top speeds at last year’s Mexican Grand Prix peaking at 366 kph (227 mph), teams will have to compromise between straight-line speed and the downforce necessary to push though the track’s corners.
These are the ingredients for excitement.