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Teams max-out on hypersofts for Mexico

NEWS STORY
16/10/2018

In 2016, the softest compound available for the Mexican Grand Prix was the supersoft, with the ultrasoft being the softest compound a year later. This year, Pirelli is taking the three softest compounds in its entire ranges, and the teams are taking full advantage.

Renault and Sauber take the full complements of tens sets of the pink-banded rubber, with all but Mercedes, Ferrari and Fernando Alonso taking nine sets.

Even so, the Spaniard, the Silvers Arrows and the Prancing Horse take eight sets, if not quite as aggressive strategy as Renault and Sauber, aggressive nonetheless.

Valtteri Bottas leads the way in terms of the ultrasofts, the Finn taking four sets, while Lewis Hamilton, the Ferrari duo, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen take three sets.

What was, just two years ago, the softest tyre available, will this year be the hardest, and as a result, Bottas, Ricciardo, Stroll, Hulkenberg, Magnussen and Ericsson take just one set of the supersofts.

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is one of the quickest tracks of the year, and while the track surface is quite smooth and slippery, reducing tyre wear and degradation, a number of teams did encounter degradation last year, and as a result some drivers opted for a one-stop strategy while others were forced to make two stops.

As well as the fast corners, there is also the slow and technical stadium section, and a pit lane which is the longest of the year, increasing the stop time and so influencing strategy.

Race winner Max Verstappen ran a one stop strategy, starting on the ultrasofts and then switching to the supers, as did Bottas who finished second. Thirds placed Kimi Raikkonen started on ultras then switched to softs, while teammate Sebastian Vettel was on a two-stop strategy, as was Lewis Hamilton who finished ninth.

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