Sam Bird believes that track changes to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez should aid overtaking ahead of the Mexico City E-Prix.
As a popular venue in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez has featured in the series since Season 2 and ahead of the 2020 edition of the race, sees a handful of track changes to the original layout.
These changes include the addition of six new corners following the constant-radius corner of Turn 2, with this taking the field onto Turns 10 and 11 of the Grand Prix layout of the venue.
This replaces the former left-right-left chicane of Turns 3, 4 and 5 while the chicane of Turns 14, 15 and 16 – site of Nelson Piquet Jr’s airbourne accident in Season 5 – has also been removed, creating one sweeping final corner to close the lap.
Examining these changes, Envision Virgin Racing’s Bird believes that overtaking will be easier, with a faster circuit and greater Attack Mode advantage aiding on-track action, as seen in Santiago:
“Last time out [in Santiago] was tough for us, but to come away with a few points was really important. You have to play the long game in this championship and every point counts,” explained the Briton, reflecting on the third E-Prix of the present campaign.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator, as the track has seen some significant changes that could allow overtaking to be easier but we may also have to deal with tyre degradation as the track temperatures rise in the afternoon, so there’s a lot to manage come race day.
“Luck has not always been on our side in Mexico so I’m looking forward to changing that this time round.”
Following three rounds of the 2019/20 campaign, Bird holds third in the Drivers’ Championship, 10 points adrift of current leader Stoffel Vandoorne.