2021 Mexico Grand Prix Tyre Performance Analysis: Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix with a one-stop strategy, swapping from P Zero Yellow medium to P Zero White hard tyres on lap 34. This was the most frequently-used strategy in the 71-lap race, adopted by the majority of the field (and the strategy that Pirelli calculated as the fastest one).
Lewis Hamilton finished second for Mercedes after pitting on lap 30 for hard tyres, fighting off Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for the runner-up spot in the closing stages – with the Mexican on hard tyres that were 11 laps younger.
All the drivers started the race on the medium tyre, with the exception of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, who began the race on the P Zero Red soft from the back of the grid.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and polesitter Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) both switched to the hard tyre under a safety car on lap one. Both ended up stopping again for medium tyres, while Bottas made two additional stops for soft tyres at the end of the race to set fastest lap.
Track temperature was 48 degrees at the start of the race: the highest it has been all weekend.
How Each Tyre Performed
- HARD C2: Key to the race in Mexico, with nearly all the drivers running the hard for the second stint and benefitting from low wear and degradation.
- MEDIUM C3: This compound provided optimal flexibility and a wide pit-stop window. McLaren’s Lando Norris – who had started from the back of the grid – ran the longest medium stint with 45 laps, ending up 10th at the flag.
- SOFT C4: Ocon ran the soft tyre before finishing the race on the hard, the only driver to use this strategy. Bottas also took this tyre with five laps to go, to deprive Verstappen of fastest lap and set a new lap record. Today’s warm track temperatures made the soft susceptible to overheating, which meant it was not really used (as was expected).
Mario Isola: Pirelli Head of F1 and Motorsport
“It was a reasonably straightforward one-stop race for the majority of competitors, with the medium and hard delivering great results in these high track temperatures. The medium stood up very well to some long initial stints, showing a strong combination of performance and consistency, with a little help from a four-lap safety car period at the start. The hard tyre showed good race pace, with low degradation, which made it central to today’s grand prix in these conditions. As a result, Max Verstappen was the first driver to beat the fastest race lap from 2019 (the last time that the Mexican Grand Prix was run) on used hard tyres, on a track that was still quite dusty.”