Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton
won the Mexican Grand Prix from the second row of the grid, using a one-stop
medium-hard strategy. This tactic, used by the top three, was predicted to
be possible but tricky in the demanding conditions of the Autodromo Hermanos
Rodriguez. The higher temperatures on race day, compared to the rest of the
weekend, helped to make this practicable due to reduced graining.
* Hamilton was among the first drivers to stop from the medium tyre and
switch to the hard. Nonetheless, he was able to manage the hard tyre
perfectly over the 48 laps of his final stint to claim the race win.
* He wasn’t the only driver to complete a long stint on this tyre. Renault’s
Daniel Ricciardo was the only driver to start the race on the hard tyre, and
he completed 50 laps on this compound before switching to the medium and
* Red Bull’s Max Verstappen went even further: he did 66 laps on the hard
tyre following an early pit stop after a puncture caused by contact on his
starting set of mediums. He finished sixth, having been last in the early
stages of the race.
* Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was the highest-placed driver to use a two-stop
strategy, adopting the medium-medium-hard tactic that was predicted as
theoretically fastest. He led the race but finished fourth, having also been
slightly delayed in the pits.
In total, only seven drivers went for a two-stop strategy: including those
who started on the soft tyre.
* Weather conditions were much warmer than they had been on previous days,
which were affected by rain. Peak track temperature was 49 degrees
centigrade, while ambient temperatures were higher as well.
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
HARD C2: This was key to the race, with many drivers completing long stints
on this compound, which proved to be well-suited to the race day conditions
with low degradation.
MEDIUM C3: The most popular choice to start the grand prix, with all but
five drivers selecting it for the first stint.
SOFT C4: Used very little during the race: only by four drivers in the top
10 of the grid who were obliged to use it for the first stint.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“There were a number of different strategies at work during the race, with
drivers also reacting to what the others were doing. The one-stopper was
helped to be made possible by track temperatures that were warmer than
previous days and no more rain, meaning that there was less sliding and
reduced graining, which tipped the balance back towards one or two stops,
rather than two or more. The hard tyre was the crucial one for the race and
we saw some very long stints run on this compound. Lewis Hamilton in
particular made the very most of it in order to seal another win, despite
not being on the front row of the grid, on a track where overtaking is
always quite tricky.”