SportF1The evolutions of the F1 to face the altitude...

The evolutions of the F1 to face the altitude in Mexico

With the 2022 season coming to an end and most of the team focused on next year’s development, few are introducing new parts in the remaining races, but it has introduced many changes to combat the altitude of the Mexican Grand Prix held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The circuit, located at 2,200 meters above sea level , which makes it the event with the highest altitude in the entire calendar [and by far, since the next one is Interlagos, with only 700 meters], has a finer air , something that, combined with the lack of oxygen, makes the teams face a major challenge if they want to keep their cars cool and avoid any problem of overheating.

Of the ten new equipment updates, detailed by the FIA in its usual previous document, only two of them were not related to improvements in cooling.

McLaren have added a few extra winglets to their MCL36 rear brake ducts in an attempt to increase suction and therefore downforce at the rear. The only other performance improvement comes courtesy of Aston Martin, which has adjusted the design of the lower edge of the rear spoiler, with the aim of increasing flow to the rear of the ground.

Red Bull has extended its design of the central part of the upper bodywork on the engine cover, revising the exit geometry so that there is a greater cooling capacity in the area.

Along with its new rear brake drivers winglets, McLaren has informed the FIA of three cooling improvements for this weekend, adding more slots to the engine cover, fitting some grilles and adjusting the outlet of the bottleneck portion to increase airflow at the rear of the car.

AlphaTauri have opted for three updates to cool down their car, with an enlarged front brake duct outlet, improving airflow to the disc and caliper. They’ve also put in some new cooling vents , as well as optimizing the power unit cover, with increased output through a flatter, wider design that should help rear airflow.

Williams also has similar components, but explained that they would use it “only if necessary” given the aerodynamic impact it would entail.

In addition to those updates, Alfa Romeo informed the FIA that they had changed their floor, with different front end geometry and modified cutouts, although that was already seen in Austin.

Mercedes reported that they had a new detail on the edge of the ground, although it was only used as a test item on an older spec for Nyck de Vries’ car in FP1.

Adding to the cooling challenge in Mexico, the high altitude means that all teams will use high-downforce packages in a bid to improve grip, as drag is less of an issue due to the thinner air.

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