FERRARI DRIVER SEBASTIAN VETTEL EMERGES ON TOP WITH ULTRASOFT AFTER ONE OF THE CLOSEST QUALIFYING SESSIONS OF THE YEAR
SLIPPERY TRACK AND LACK OF DOWNFORCE AT ALTITUDE IN MEXICO,
BUT POLE IS MORE THAN TWO SECONDS FASTER THAN LAST YEAR
WITH LOW DEGRADATION, ONE STOP FROM ULTRASOFT TO SUPERSOFT
IS THE MOST LIKELY RACE STRATEGY
Ferrari and Red Bull were the only teams to get through Q1 with the supersoft tyre only (having nominated fewer sets of the ultrasoft than Mercedes). From Q2 onwards, only the ultrasoft was used (except for McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who used supersoft).
Qualifying took place in ambient temperatures peaking at 24 degrees centigrade and 44 degrees on track. Similar conditions are expected for the race tomorrow, where one pit stop is the most likely strategy if degradation remains low.
A different tyre strategy was evident also from McLaren’s Fernando Alonso in qualifying, who elected not to take part in Q2 to save tyres for the race despite an impressive Q1, following a grid penalty that will put him towards the back tomorrow.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“Although the track had improved since yesterday, grip levels were still generally quite low – with the lack of downforce in the thin air at altitude here – leading to most drivers using ultrasoft to gain the most mechanical grip throughout qualifying. With tyre warm-up being crucial here, we sometimes saw the best performance coming after one or two flying laps in qualifying. With degradation expected to remain low, a one-stopper would appear to be the most likely strategy for the race tomorrow.”
HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
QUALIFYING TOP 10
MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR