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Tech verdict: How teams cruised through Mexico City’s altitude

The Mexican Grand Prix provided a significant challenge to drivers and teams alike, as the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez sits 2250m above sea level. This makes it an outlier on the Formula 1 calendar in terms of altitude, meaning teams had to focus their efforts differently in order to get close to their usual levels of performance. The rarefied air at this altitude is extremely punishing and would result in the drivers melting their power units if they chose to run cooling solutions ordinarily earmarked for track characteristics closer to sea level. Fortunately, the altitude also lessens the effect this has on the drag component that’s ordinarily encountered too, as can be seen by how teams wield high downforce wings at...

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Mexico Grand Prix Comments

  The Mexico GP was another beautiful race. It was very uncertain as the final outcome wasn’t clear until the very end. I think it was one of Hamilton’s most extraordinary races ever. At the start, the Ferraris took the lead. Hamilton did a very early change of tires which he wasn’t fully convinced of, but even when he doesn’t agree with the team’s strategy, he doesn’t let this get to him. He reasons with the staff, obeys what is being asked of him and always pushes to the maximum. It’s important to point out that his car was also severely damaged: it was missing more than 50 cm of the floor along the side that cost him 2-3 tenths...

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Tech insight: How Red Bull is staying cool in Mexico

Red Bull has modified its engine cover, and the area behind its halo, for the Mexican Grand Prix to cope with the increased cooling demands of the Formula 1 race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Due to Mexico City’s high altitude, which stands at approximately 2.25km (1.4 miles) above sea level, the change in air density creates a number of problems for engineers. The density of air is reduced by around 0.3kg/m3 compared to that at sea level, meaning that the mass of air entering the cooling inlets on an F1 car is also smaller. This means that the engine runs at hotter temperatures, and in reaction Red Bull has opened up an extra pair of outlets at the rear...

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Mexican GP: Latest F1 tech updates, straight from pit-lane

Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images bring you the Formula 1 technical updates on show in the Mexico City pit-lane at the Mexican Grand Prix, giving insight into the relentless development undertaken by the teams in pursuit of more performance.   Front suspension of Toro Rosso STR14 Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images A good look at the Toro Rosso STR14 while it’s still bare and awaiting assembly. Note the various conduits used to transport airflow around the front upright and brake assembly. Engine cover of Toro Rosso STR14 Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images Toro Rosso will not only run a much larger cooling outlet at the rear of its car in Mexico, catering for the altitude and...

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Back-to-back test: Compare new F1 aero parts used in Japan

Besides Mercedes’ highly successful aero update for the Japanese Grand Prix, three other Formula 1 teams brought significant new pieces to Suzuka as each searched for an upturn in form. Take a look at what changed, and what the pieces looked like before the revisions. Renault R.S.19 old front wing Photo by: Giorgio Piola Renault introduced a new front wing it hoped would not only unlock some more of the RS19’s latent potential, but perhaps also offer insight into the trajectory they should follow for next season. Note the shape of the mainplane as it connects the front wing’s neutral section and the shape of the flaps above on the old design illustrated here. Renault R.S.19 new front wing Photo...

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