F1 2021
Round 18

#MexicanGP Race Setup

mx Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

Hola Mexico! The dazzling atmosphere of the Mexican Grand Prix is a little more special this year, as we join Checo for the first time at his home race. Whilst three Honda powered cars made their way into the points in 2019, there is plenty to improve upon as we dive into the back-end of the season.

#MexicanGP Race Setup

17 races down, 5 to go... The 2021 season is keeping the drama coming right to the end. With each race becoming more and more crucial, every detail matters heading into every race weekend. As we looking ahead to this final triple-header - starting at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez - the team will be working hard to keep our power units running sweetly, especially in the altitude of Mexico City.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
This weekend is another important race for us, being Sergio’s home Grand Prix. The Hermanos Rodriguez circuit sits at 2300 metres above sea level, by far the highest of any venue on the F1 calendar. The altitude means air pressure is much lower and the air is less dense than at sea level, which affects many aspects of the Power Unit and chassis. Specifically the effectiveness of the turbine is less than at low altitude, while the aero efficiency and cooling effect of the air are also reduced. Therefore the PU and chassis require a different set-up to normal with a specific calibration of the PU. We will optimise out settings from past data from actual running during free practice over the weekend. There are now just five races remaining as we go into this triple-header, with Brazil and Qatar following on from Mexico City. The fight for the two championship titles is very close and every race counts, so we cannot afford to make any mistakes and we hope to perform well here this weekend.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
My country has been so supportive of me throughout my career and I always love the chance to race in front of those fans. People are always blown away by the support I receive here in Mexico but they have always backed me, since many years ago, when my career was first starting. It’s just great to finally have a Team and a car that we can dream of a victory in my home country. We have a chance to make a big result happen this weekend, so I will prepare as well as I can and we will see what we are able to achieve.

It is going to be a crazy week, driving the Red Bull Racing car up one of the most iconic streets in the country will be really special. It is something I have dreamt of for many years and to be able to bring my Red Bull car to my country will be very special. Then after the event I am planning to give a dinner for all the Team to make sure they try the great Mexican food and the good traditions that we have in our country.

For Mexico I wanted it to be a really special moment so I spoke with my designer and he came up with an incredible design. It is probably my favourite design I have ever worn. I wanted to put my colours on it in a bigger and better way than before, because on all of my helmet designs I try to represent my country and Mexican cultures and traditions. I have even changed the colour of the foam to those of the Mexican flag. I really can’t wait to wear it and since I revealed it this week the Mexican people love it!

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
It was of course a great feeling to be back on the top step at the US Grand Prix. The last few races were obviously quite difficult with various engine penalties and a few unlucky moments, so it definitely felt good to be back up there with Checo beside me. It was a very satisfying win, we showed good pace at the US GP so I’m looking to build on that momentum and it was of course also very important to score solid points for the championship.

Yes I have good memories from racing in Mexico with my two race wins. I’m looking forward to racing here again especially after not being able to travel here for a while. I know we will have a lot more fans now with Checo in the Team too so I’m looking forward to seeing all of them at the track and of course hopefully we can have a competitive weekend.

I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited to get going, although I know the triple header is going to be busy! It’s incredibly important for myself and the Team to try and nail the next three races now that we are fighting for the championship. There will be a lot of travelling time and time differences but I’m looking forward to being back on track in Mexico and Brazil and I’m looking forward to the challenge of racing on the new track in Qatar.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It was a shame I had to retire in Austin as we could have got both cars home in the top 10 and made up a couple more points to Alpine. But overall, it was a strong event with both cars in Q3, clearly outperforming Aston Martin and Alpine all weekend. So even with two DNFs in the last four races, the fight for fifth place in the championship is still very much on.
We now have a triple-header and it’s the first time we have travelled this far from home for a couple of seasons. Rest, recovery and sleeping well will be important because it’s going to be quite complicated with all the different time zones. Since Austin, I returned to Europe to go on the simulator so I’ve crossed the time zone again and now we’re heading to Mexico to start these three races, with long flights and a change of continent. It’s important to be at 100% for each of these races. In terms of the car itself it’s a case of getting the best out of a package that we now know very well, the other important factor is that some of the upcoming circuits will suit us better than others. 
The last time we came to Mexico in 2019 I finished ninth. It’s the sort of track where you have to be on top form, especially with the altitude which makes things more complicated. You certainly feel it if you go running, but when you’re in the car you don’t notice, although it does put more of a strain on the car, the Power Unit, the brakes, in fact any part where cooling is required. And on the aero side we run maximum downforce, but the air density means the cars feel as though you have less wing than at Monza and you slide around a lot. Every year, the crowd is amazing and this year I expect it will be really crazy given the success that Checo and Red Bull are having this year. The atmosphere is incredible.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It was a good weekend in Austin, getting into Q3 again and scoring points. I enjoyed the whole race week. I performed quite consistently, improving all the time, with very busy free practice sessions as we improved the car and I got used to the track. I knew the pace was there and that I just had to put it all together for Qualifying. It was a good step.
We now have three races in a row and I expect it will be very tough, moving around with long flights in between and a complicated jet lag situation. These three tracks will be completely new to me and they look quite tricky. On top of that, in Brazil we have the Sprint Qualifying format again, which means less free practice. I am going to once again focus on making progress through the sessions and stick to my plan. I am keen to see what effect the altitude in Mexico City will have on me, as I have never driven before in these conditions. With a helmet on, I can imagine it could be quite difficult and demanding on the neck and arms, but apparently the main effect is on your heart rate. I don't normally have any issue with heart rate, but in my training recently, to prepare for Mexico, I have focussed more on endurance with this in mind. I’ve been told Mexico has one of the biggest Japanese communities in Latin America so maybe I can find some good Japanese restaurants!
My only experience of all three of the tracks of this triple-header is on the simulator. Mexico seems like quite a special track, very different to normal, especially sector one, which is really tight with many 90 degree corners and some slow turns, one of which is only around 60 to 70 km/h.  I heard that because of the altitude the thinner air has a big impact on the aero downforce so all these factors mean I think Mexico will be very interesting but not such an easy experience for me.

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