Williams admit the high altitude at Mexico City will have “significant implications” as they look to set up their car this weekend.
Dave Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance, is not currently concerned about the possibility of the circuit causing problems for the Mercedes engine, but knows the team will have to adapt to get their car in the right window to perform.
He explained that having a circuit higher up in terms of altitude will cause potential added strains on certain parts of the car, and said the team will need to confirm the car is “healthy” in running around Mexico City before they can get into the finer details of tuning the FW43B.
“The main feature of Mexico City is its altitude,” Robson said in Williams’ race preview. “At over 2000m above sea level, Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez is the highest circuit that we race at.
“This has significant implications for the cooling systems on the car, the aerodynamic performance and the tyre behaviour.
“The layout of the circuit is a good blend of corners of various speeds and several straights, with three DRS zones.
“The final corner sequence brings the track through the stadium section before passing the pit entry and returning the cars to the long start/finish straight.
“We will spend Friday confirming that the car is healthy in the low air density, and once we are happy with this, we will investigate the tyre performance and optimum aerodynamic set-up.
“Pirelli are providing the same middle compound range as they supplied last time out in Austin. These compounds should deal with the low grip conditions reasonably well and should be tolerant of the reduced downforce on the cars this weekend.”
Williams had an off-colour weekend overall in Austin, with neither George Russell nor Nicholas Latifi able to make a significant push to get into the points last time out.
But with a new weekend brings fresh optimism that the team will be able to get back to form, and Russell acknowledged the challenges Mexico will bring to their car, but also hopes to use that to his advantage where possible.
“The race presents a lot of interesting challenges such as the high altitude, which affects us as drivers but also the performance of the car, and we have to take into consideration these things when preparing for the weekend,” said Russell.
“Equally, these challenges offer us an opportunity and I also can’t wait to see all the amazing fans and support we’ve come to associate this race with.”
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