Mexico’s tire-deciding race, Red Bull’s expensive triumph, and updates ahead of Mexico GP.
Hey there, pole sitter! 👋
A turbo-charged hello to the 517 new enthusiasts who joined our newsletter this week.
🌮 Tires and Tacos: Mexico might just be the game-changer for the 2024 tires. Will the high-altitude circuit determine the rubber that meets the road next season?
💰 Red Bull’s Pricey Victory: Success comes with a price, and for Red Bull, it’s a hefty one. Dive in to discover the reasons behind their expensive triumph.
🔊 Audi’s F1 Future: Whispers in the pit lane suggest Audi might be hitting the brakes on their F1 journey. Who’s behind the whispers, and is there any truth to it?
In today’s email:
- Pit Stop Talks – Get the most important in-depth news ahead of Mexico City GP
- In-depth education– Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez: Heartbeat of Mexican Motorsport
- Fast Lane News – Speed into the latest F1 updates right here
- The Mexico City GP – Learn all about the tires & strategy
Lights out, and away we go!
Pit Stop Talks
⚙️ Technical Adjustments Ahead Of Mexican GP
⚫ Mercedes showed off their new floor design in the US, which has improved their performance.
🟢 Aston Martin had a rough weekend, but things are looking up. Their car, like Mercedes, will benefit from the reduced drag forces in Mexico.
🔵 Red Bull is definitely a top contender.
🔴 Ferrari, known for its speed on fast tracks, might face some challenges. Their main task will be to find the right balance in downforce for various corners.
- Prioritizing cooling due to high altitude
- Less worry about aerodynamic effects
- High downforce rear wing.
- Gurney on the upper flap’s trailing edge.
- Traditional tip design, with one open-ended version at the Belgian GP.
- The upper wishbone is prominently placed on the rear assembly.
- The chassis design allows lower positioning of the wishbone’s rear.
- Front brake assembly reveals a unique drilling pattern.
🔴 Alfa Romeo
- Visible inboard front suspension and brake cylinders without its nose.
- Without outer brake drums, front brake disc fairing is evident.
- High downforce rear wing and beam wing.
- Kiel probe array placed in the wing center for FP1 data.
- Full-span Gurney on front wing’s trailing edge.
- Large brake duct inlet accommodates pull-rod suspension.
- All have wavy trailing edge on the top flap.
- One wing features a trailing edge Gurney.
- Alpine A523 being prepared; signs of heat on front brake duct fairings.
- Front wing sports a central Gurney.
- High downforce rear wing setup for Mexico.
- Heat tape added to brake drums.
🔵 Red Bull
- Emphasizes high downforce for rear wing.
- Features open-ended endplate, Gurney, and V-notch.
- Rear brake ducts spaced for cool air intake.
Mexico to Decide Pirelli’s 2024 Tires
Why It Matters
Pirelli’s tire decisions have a significant impact on the performance and safety of F1 races. Their choice to change or retain tire designs can influence race outcomes, team strategies, and driver choices.
- Pirelli is taking its last shot at tweaking the 2024 F1 tires with a test in Mexico.
- Tire designs are rarely retained from one season to the next; this practice was last seen between 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-related disruptions.
In Mexico, we have a C4 with the idea to have a tyre the same performance as the current C4, but a wider working range and a bit better mechanical assistance. With the C4, at some circuits, we had a bit of graining, so we want to reduce it. If the test is successful, the plan is to introduce the C4 for next year. Otherwise, we keep the one we have now.
What We’re Hearing
- The Big Test in Mexico: Pirelli’s testing a new C4 compound. They’ve already decided on the designs for their other tires next year, so this test is crucial to see if the new C4 makes the cut.
- Last Month’s Update: Pirelli tried out a new C2 tire in Japan but didn’t find it any better. They must ensure that any changes actually represent an improvement.
- Focus Shift: While Pirelli usually tweaks designs to keep up with faster cars, this year, they’re more into testing tires without those warm blankets.
- Abu Dhabi’s Role: If Pirelli approves the new C4, samples will be rushed to Abu Dhabi for a final check. This test is crucial, regardless of whether the design changes.
🚨 Audi’s F1 Exit Rumors Debunked
Been hearing those whispers that Audi might ditch their 2026 F1 project? Well, it looks like they’re not true. Despite all the chit-chat, Audi is pushing full throttle with their F1 plans.
In fact, Audi’s been busy recruiting a big team that’s already crafting their 2026 F1 engine. They’re even snagging some talent from other F1 teams, which has ruffled a few feathers.
Audi‘s F1 entry in 2026 is based on a decision of the Board of AUDI AG in alignment with the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG. As well as the Board and the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Group. The schedule of Audi Formula Racing GmbH for the build-up of the organisation and the development of the 2026 F1 Power Unit at the site in Neuburg/Germany remains unchanged.
Why Did These Rumors Start?
When Audi announced their F1 entry, there were some whispers of them possibly backing out. Some folks in the Volkswagen Group (which Audi is a part of) thought Porsche would be a better fit for F1.
Markus Duesmann, Audi’s then-CEO, was the main man behind the F1 entry. Some say he went solo on this decision without the full support of the Volkswagen Group. Duesmann left Audi in 2023, which added more fuel to the rumor mill. – Read more
💰 Red Bull Pays the Price for Success
Red Bull is about to pay a hefty price for their F1 2024 entry, and it’s all because of Max Verstappen’s fantastic performance in 2023.
Why It Matters
- Teams must pay an entry fee each year to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship.
- The fee is not fixed for everyone. The better your team does, the more you pay for the next year. Success comes with a price.
Last year, Red Bull paid the highest fee at $6,242,636. But 2024 is looking even pricier for them. With the updated rates, they’re almost matching their 2023 fees already, and there are still four races to go.
Just to give you an idea, Red Bull’s fee for 2024 is currently more than twice what Mercedes is paying. And Mercedes is the second-placed team. The team with the lowest score, AlphaTauri, only has to pay $723,587 based on their current 10 points.
All teams need to settle their fees by December 10th, 2023. – Read more
🚨RELATED: Red Bull can now go back to its full aerodynamic testing since their budget cap penalty is over. This might be concerning for their competitors, considering how dominant Red Bull has been this season. – Read more
🏆 Sainz’s Unconventional Podium Wins
Carlos Sainz has had some luck with post-race F1 podiums. Believe it or not, he’s been handed the podium spot three times after the race ended.
Brazil 2019: Carlos’s first F1 podium wasn’t exactly traditional. He finished 4th, but after Lewis got a penalty for a collision, Carlos was promoted to 3rd. It was a big deal since it was also McLaren’s first podium since 2014.
Hungary 2021: The race was chaos from the get-go, with rain and collisions. Carlos finished behind Sebastian Vettel, but Seb got disqualified later because of a fuel issue. So, Carlos got bumped up to 3rd. Another surprise podium!
United States 2023: You probably heard about this one. Hamilton was going for the win but ended in 2nd. Carlos raced brilliantly, trying to overtake Lando for 3rd. He didn’t make it but then got the spot after Hamilton was disqualified for failing a test.
🤫 “Football” mentality not right way to judge Aston Martin
Fernando Alonso doesn’t think it’s fair to judge Aston Martin’s F1 season like how football teams are judged – only by the latest result. He believes there’s more to assess than just the end result of his first year with the team.
In 2023, after moving from Alpine, Alonso had a promising start. He bagged six podiums in the first eight races. That year, Aston Martin became a serious competitor to Red Bull, especially after their innovations over the winter.
Mercedes and Ferrari took a while to catch up. They only adopted the downwash approach a year after Aston Martin introduced it in 2022. Meanwhile, McLaren stepped up its game with some Red Bull-style tweaks. Because of all these shifts, Alonso only managed one more podium after the Austrian GP in July.
However, Alonso feels 2023 was more consistent for Aston than the results suggest. – Read more
No, I think it has been [a] more consistent feeling and season than maybe the results are showing. We’ve always been balancing the ups and also the downs. We’ve always been very focused on the performance of the car and trying to get better as a team. Two years ago, this organisation was 250 people. And now we are just a few points away of [the] very top teams in the constructors’ championship and tasting the podium a few times this year.
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez: Heartbeat of Mexican Motorsport
Nestled in the heart of Mexico City lies a racetrack of legendary status: the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
With a history of over half a century, this circuit is a testament to Mexico’s passion for motorsports and has seen some of the most dramatic races in Formula 1 history. It even has its own intro.
Fast Lane News
📝 The ex-F1 chief suggests changing the Code of Conduct after Max Verstappen’s outburst in Austin. – Read more
🔥 Formula E testing is approved after checking out a fire incident. – Read more
🤔 Why did fewer people attend the Austin F1 US Grand Prix this year? – Read more
THE 2023 MEXICO CITY GP
🇲🇽 Scheduled 27-29 October
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez – Mexico City
1️⃣ Circuit length: 4.304km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 71
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:17.774 Valtteri Bottas (2021)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 17 corners with 2 DRS zones
Tires for Mexico Race:
⚪ Hard: C3 (P Zero White)
🟡 Medium: C4 (P Zero Yellow)
🔴 Soft: C5 (P Zero Red)
Note: These are a step softer than 2022.
⚠️Watch out for graining! Cars tend to slide more here due to less aerodynamics and high altitude.
Max Verstappen’s Track Record:
🥇4 wins out of 7 races in Mexico City
🏆 Red Bull is the top-winning team in Mexico
Last Year’s Strategy:
🟡 Max Verstappen started on used softs, finished on mediums
⚪ Lewis Hamilton: Started on mediums, finished on hards
🌡️ Temperature: Big changes from the start to the end of the day