Pierre Gasly believes Mexican Grand Prix delivers "the highest top speeds" in F1

22-10-2019 16:30
by Matt Gretton
Pierre Gasly believes Mexican Grand Prix delivers the highest top speeds in F1

Pierre Gasly managed to score points in his first crack at the Mexican Grand Prix having started from the back of the grid. Ahead of his second attempt, the Toro Rosso driver insists the Formula 1 cars reach the "highest of top speeds" in Mexico because of the altitude.  

The 4.4km track has an elevation of 2,285m (7,500ft) and this causes extra strain on both the drivers and the cars. In Gasly's preview for the race, he talks about how he adapts to the altitude and how the team alter the car set-up to suit the conditions. 

"The first day you arrive, you can feel you’re at altitude, but after that, you don’t notice it anymore. It has a bigger effect on the cars than the drivers. We can prepare and train for it, but it's more complicated for the engine, cooling the brakes is a consideration and there is less downforce, so it’s the car that suffers more than we do," Gasly said. 

"We put a lot of downforce on the car and you do notice you have less grip as the aero effect is lessened because the air is less dense. So it can be strange, we ran pretty much maximum rear wing, but the feeling you get is very different to what you would normally expect with that level of downforce. It’s always very good to go very fast in a straight line as that’s always exciting. During the race, I reckon we must see some of the highest top speeds of the year."

Although Mercedes have the F1 constructors' championship wrapped up, there are still positions to fight for further down the ladder. Toro Rosso are in a direct battle with Racing Point over 6th place, with Gasly's team leading the battle by five points. 

Racing Point will receive plenty of support this weekend as Sergio Perez competes in his home race. Gasly tries to describe the atmosphere surrounding the Mexican crowd supporting their home driver. 

"I remember last year, during the Drivers’ Parade, I was in a car following Sergio Perez and it was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much support for one driver, with people shouting, cheering and screaming. It was madness. That stadium area is so impressive, with so many people in it and when they all start shouting it gives you goosebumps. The whole circuit has a big crowd and that’s great to see," Gasly added. 

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