Pirelli hail Red Bull upgrade

Red Bull successfully completed an aggressive tyre strategy at last weekend's Mexican Grand Prix.

Last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix will go down as perhaps one of the most uneventful races of the 2022 season, with the top six having been decided by the time the cars all made their way through the opening three corners.

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez does present a rather unusual characteristic, in that the circuit is situated an astonishing 2,200 metres above sea level.

This causes teams a plethora of issues, with the high altitude resulting in thin air, meaning less oxygen is able to go through the power units.

As seen last weekend, this can cause some rather smoky engines, something Fernando Alonso once again found out.

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Due to the thin air, drivers were ultimately unable to run close together, meaning little overtaking took place, unless your name is Daniel Ricciardo.

With overtaking having been virtually impossible, it meant that the team’s strategies were the defining factor in the result, with Red Bull having come out on top in the strategic battle.

The race was tipped as a two-stopper, unless a Medium-Hard strategy was carried out, something Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both successfully did.

Red Bull went for something considerably bolder, after managing to perform a one-stop race by going from the Softs to the Mediums, a strategy that the Silver Arrows didn’t see coming.

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This caused somewhat of a balancing act among the top four, as the Red Bull’s had to preserve their tyres, whilst Mercedes were only able to match the Red Bull’s lap-times even whilst pushing on the Hard compound.

It was a strategic masterclass by the Austrians, with Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola hailing the side for managing their tyres “very well”.

“In the last part of the season we have seen Red Bull use the tyres very well,” said the Pirelli boss.

“I don’t know what they did with the car, probably one of the upgrades during the season.”

Isola went on to explain that Red Bull and Mercedes opting for different strategies demonstrates the importance of each tyre behaving differently, to present the teams with a “challenge”.

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“This shows us again how important it is to provide tyres with different characteristics to challenge the teams to use them in the best possible way,” added Isola.

Max Verstappen ended up winning the race from pole position with Hamilton finishing in second for the second race in a row.

Sergio Pérez sealed third in front of his home crowd with Russell wrapping up the top four, after slipping from second to fourth in the opening three corners of the race.