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Mexico Track Guide | Sector 1 | F1 2021

Hold your breath... Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is high! In fact, it is the highest circuit on the F1 calendar at over 2km above sea level. Why does this matter? Well, the thinner air at altitude means there is less downforce, less drag and less air for the engines to breathe which offers a very unique challenge for F1 teams. The circuit has not changed that much since 1959, with the biggest change being at the end of the lap. Now you drive through the middle of the old Foro Sol baseball stadium, a very special experience.


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Sector 1 sees some of the highest speeds in F1 as a result of the incredibly long (Recta Principale) straight and the reduced drag from the low air density. Braking into Turn 1 can be tricky as the brakes have had a long time to cool and downforce is low. It is important to attack the kerbs in the Esses Moisés Solana for the best run onto the Transera straight.



Turn 1: Entry

Following one of the longest DRS straights on the calendar, Turn 1 requires good control on the brakes. Your brakes will have cooled a lot from the straight and the downforce is not as high as most tracks so be careful of locking up.


Position the car on the far left of the track so that you straddle the flat kerb on the left. Hit the brakes in a straight line at the 100m board. Use the brakes most when at higher speeds, then bleed off as the downforce/grip reduces when you slow.


As you trailbrake in, try to downshift through the gears smoothly as doing this too quickly can underrotate the rear tyres.



Turn 1: Apex

At the apex, for Turn 1 you have a choice to either commit to the kerb (so that you straddle the sausage) or gently kiss the flat part for stability. In any case, you don't want to run the right tyres over the highest part of the sausage or this will unsettle the car too much and make T2 difficult. Here, we have chosen to run over the backside of the sausage which usually works well.


After you reach the apex in 3rd gear, pick up an idle throttle to keep the rear stable as you take a slightly tighter exit to compliment the run through T2 & T3. Remain in 3rd gear throughout this Esses section.



Turn 2 (Esses Moisés Solana)

In Turn 2, it's all or nothing. You really have to commit to the kerb here or the corner becomes way too tight to carry good speed onto the straight. To do this well, straddle the sausage kerb in 3rd gear so that the car does not jump and break traction.


It is important to take a wide entry and keep towards the left after the apex to open up the run onto the straight through T3.


Modulation of both the throttle and the brake can really help rotate the car on the transitions through the Esses so make use of it. Also, slowing more than you think on the entry for Turn 2 can really pay dividends on the way out.



Turn 3 (Esses Moisés Solana): Apex

Turn 3 should also be attacked. Take a wide line in for a late apex, holding 3rd gear still. Fully commit to the apex kerb so that you straddle the sausage.


The focus here is just about the exit speed so hold a balanced throttle over the kerb and start to progressively increase this to full as soon as you come off the kerb. Open up the steering as early as possible so that you can achieve full power sooner.



Turn 3 (Esses Moisés Solana): Exit

As you exit Turn 3, open up the steering as early as possible so that you can achieve full power sooner. Make sure to use all of the available track on the left. This will allow you to carry more speed through the turn and onto the DRS straight.


Short-shift to 4th gear just after the kerb to improve traction and avoid unsettling the car. Remember to open DRS when it is available and make your way over to the right side of the circuit for the next corner.



Check out our other track guides here.



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