Max Verstappen has taken back to back wins after leading the Mexican Grand Prix after leading both Ferrari’s by seventeen seconds in an action packed race. While Lewis Hamilton finished fourth place to seal his fifth world title.
The race proved to be a close battle between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes after the teams all were forced into a two-stop race as they struggled with tyre life. Verstappen was the main winner from the tyre wear issues making the stops at the right time.
Verstappen made the best start of the front-runners, while Hamilton managed to pass Daniel Ricciardo, before passing both cars. Both Ferrari’s jumped the Mercedes in the middle part of the race when Hamilton was running second.
Hamilton told BBC News “I don’t know if it will ever kick in. We have just had a difficult afternoon and it was tough, I didn’t know if we would get the car home. It has been the toughest year physically, mentally and personally with everything I’m committed to but I have amazing support.”
“Mercedes and my team have just been the most incredible unit and worked to raise the bar. In my mind, it is just another day of fighting and I have more races to win, it is not over. In my mind, I have to work, go to the debrief and try to win in Brazil.
Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel finished second, however, he needed to win the race to have any hope of keeping his title hopes alive. However, the champion was unable to fight with the Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s finishing over a minute off the outright pace.
Ricciardo had also run very well with his teammate, however, all hopes of him scoring a podium came to an abrupt end. The Australian stopped on track as smoke pouring from his Red Bull, following another engine failure giving him his eighth retirement of the season.
Valtteri Bottas finished the race fifth a lap behind the five-time champion, both Mercedes appeared to struggle to run with Red Bull and Ferrari. The Finn not being able to run with the front runners and being lapped by the top four.
Vettel, told Channel 4’s David Coulthard “I congratulated him, he drove superb all year, and he was better all year. Number five is incredible. I congratulated him, and told him to keep pushing for next year, as I need him good to fight him again.”
Vettel knew that by winning the race, the title was ultimately in Hamilton’s hands. But Hamilton’s next challenge to win a race in a season after being crowned as champion, something he has never managed to do on his last two titles.
Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth for Renault, two laps down, meaning the French manufacturer finished best of the rest for the second week in a row. The German executed a one-stop strategy well to keep comfortably clear of Sauber’s Charles Leclerc in seventh.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne came through the field to score his first points since April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after starting fifiteenth the Belgian came through the field to split the Sauber’s in eighth with Pierre Gasly tenth.
It wasn’t a perfect race for the team, Fernando Alonso the first retirement after picking up debris from an incident involving a Force India at the start. It wasn’t the best afternoon for the Force India team, both cars out if the points.
Sergio Perez was forced to retire from his home race with a break failure.
- Mexican GP – Qualifying result
- MEXICAN GP – Daniel Ricciardo denies Max Verstappen to take youngest pole sitter with Lewis Hamilton third
- MEXICAN GP – Max Verstappen continues to set the pace in FP2, as Ferrari and Mercedes continue to struggle
- MEXICAN GP – Max Verstappen heads a Red Bull one-two in first practice
- Prixview – Mexican Grand Prix