Max Verstappen has taken victory in the Mexican Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton sealed his fourth world championship with ninth place. It was a difficult race for the Mercedes driver after making contact with his title rival Sebastian Vettel at turn three on the opening lap of the race.
The contact between the two title rivals saw them both drop to the back of the field. That left them both with a lot of work to do, Vettel made better progress than his Mercedes rival but ultimately it wasn’t enough to stop the Englishman from taking his fourth world title.
Hamilton had dropped to the very back after he suffered a puncher following he contact on the first lap, while Vettel suffered damage from tagging the rear tyre of the Mercedes. That left them both needing to return to the pits following the contact.
Meanwhile, at the front Verstappen soon set about building his lead over Valtteri Bottas building it to over twenty seconds before the end of the race. While Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest a minute behind Verstappen. Verstappen looked to have control of the race as did Bottas with them both not coming under pressure.
Verstappen said “The start was very crucial. I went around the outside and that worked out well. After last week this is the perfect race. I was cruising. It was good to see [Lewis and Seb touching] and after that I just pulled away.”
World champion Hamilton said “Wow. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who came out to see us,” said Hamilton.
“The Mexican fans I think are the best around the world. I did everything I could. I had a good start and I don’t really know what happened at turn three but I gave him plenty of room, but I tried my hardest to come back.”
“A big thank you to my family and my team. Mercedes have been incredible over the last five years and I am so proud to be a part of it. I never gave up. It was not the [type of] race I wanted. I kept going right to the end. I just want to lift it up to my family, and god and my team.”
Raikkonen looked to do everything he could to aid his teammate slim hopes but that was too bigger gap for the German to close down, however it wouldn’t have been enough anyway to have kept his hopes of the championship alive.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon had to settle for fifth place after he made a great start to work his way up to third on the opening lap of the race, while his team-mate Sergio Perez finished seventh. The Force India’s drivers were split by the Williams of Lance Stroll.
While Verstappen took victory for the other Renault powered team it turned into a nightmare as four were forced to retire. Daniel Ricciardo looked to be a major benefactor from the first lap tangle between Hamilton and Vettel driving to seventh place, but on lap six his engine let go.
An ERS failure forced Nico Hulkenberg out, Brendon Hartley was next as his engine also letting go and Carlos Sainz wasn’t far behind retiring on lap sixty one.
Kevin Magnussen finished eighth which was thanks to a good long opening stint at the beginning of the race which saw him start fourteenth fastest. While McLaren’s Fernando Alonso took the final point ahead of Felipe Massa and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Pascal Wehrlein had been running well early on but a Virtual Safety Car, brought out for Hartley’s stricken car, ruined his chances of a points finish.