Tilke surprised at Mexico's Monza-busting speeds

Formula 1 track designer Hermann Tilke has admitted that he was surprised by the Monza-beating top speeds delivered at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The fastest top speed in qualifying was produced by Felipe Massa, who was recorded at 364.3 km/h during Q1.

This is greater than the fastest speed in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, where Sergio Perez hit 354.6 km/h in his Force India.

The high speed in Mexico is the result of the less dense air at altitude – which means cars have less drag.

Tilke, who helped revamp Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, said that such a phenomenon had not been predicted when the design was finished.

“No, I did not expect this,” he told Motorsport.com. “The calculations were lower. It's really a great speed, it is very fast, and is something very interesting".

Tight corners

The high speeds experienced on the straight were in contrast to some of the slow speed sections, where Tilke had tightened up many of the original corners.

Speaking about the decision to do that, he said: “The speeds in Sector 2 and 3 were as expected. We wanted to do slow corners, so that the fans could see the action and generate excitement.

“We also have some high-speed parts and I think we have a good combination at this track.”

High emotions

Tilke admitted that the amazing atmosphere experienced in Mexico made him especially happy with the job he had done.

“I am proud to be a member of the team that made this possible,” he said. “I have some tears in my eyes. It is very emotional to see all this creation and see the public response.”

Interview by Luis Ramirez

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Track Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Article type Breaking news