F1: Max Verstappen wins the Mexico GP for the third time in his career ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton and teammate Sergio Perez. Max crossed the line with a cozy margin of 16.55s over Lewis Hamilton.
Showing some legit speed in the qualifying, Mercedes were looking quite firm for the race. However, the Mercedes front row was short-lived from Max Verstappen when he overtook both Mercedes in the first corner of the opening lap.
Valtteri Bottas took a spin into Turn 2 from a lock-up by Daniel Ricciardo. Safety Car had to deploy which restarted on the fifth Lap. Bottas had to back off and was dropped to the back of the field.
The Safety Car appeared, causing Bottas to pit for hards and Ricciardo to take new tyres plus a new front wing. In the opening lap melee, the biggest gainers were Nikita Mazepin from P15 to P11 for Haas, George Russell from P16 to P9 for Williams, and Antonio Giovinazzi from P11 to P6 for Alfa Romeo.
The accident caused Haas’s Mick Schumacher and AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda to end their Mexican outing. Only Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon started on soft tyres otherwise everyone was on a Medium stint.
On the opening stint, the red bulls were quicker than Lewis Hamilton. Struggling with the temps and also the grip, Lewis pitted on Lap 30. Verstappen too followed him on Lap 34 and returned to the track second behind the Mexican.
The first stint of Sergio Perez ran for a long time and pitted for the Hard compound on the 41st Lap. Emerging 9 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton, Perez was within the DRS zone of Lewis Hamilton with 10 Laps to go. The crowd was going nuts watching their homeboy battling for the second spot.
Despite being on tyres that were 10 Laps older than Perez, Hamilton defended him superbly to hold the second spot. Max led the GP for the majority of the race had a clean race to take the title.
Other Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas, pitted on Lap 66 and put on the soft tyres. He managed to un lap himself but could not take the fastest lap from Max Verstappen.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly had a fantastic race finishing fourth. The early spun of Valtteri Bottas gained Gasly one place. Ferraris were expected to perform good and they fulfilled the expectations. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished fifth and sixth respectively.
P7 goes to Sebastian Vettel who also gained a place from Turn 1 fracas. He was ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who finished P8. He gained two places from starting at P10.
P9 was Fernando Alonso. He gained three positions from P12 but was hampered thanks to a slow Lap 40 pit stop. Lando Norris was given the engine penalty and finished P10.
Antonio Giovinazzi started where he finished, in P11, while McLaren’s Ricciardo could only finish 12th having pitted twice in the race, that Lap 1 contact with Bottas keeping him five places behind where he started.
Ocon pitted on Lap 15, finished 13th ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in P14. That pair started 19th and 20th, respectively, and beat a beleaguered Bottas by the finish.
Bottas’s day threatened to become farcical after his Lap 1 spin and pit stop, as he eventually went into the pits three more times in Mexico. The Finn was frustrated behind Ricciardo for a number of laps, pitted a second time from P12 on Lap 42 – for a stop that lasted more than 11 seconds – to emerge 15th.
Williams claimed 16th and 17th spots in the final tally. Nikita Mazepin finished last while his teammate Mick Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda were retired.
“It’s a long way to go [in the championship], but it’s, of course, looking good, but also it can turn around very quickly. But I’m looking forward to Brazil. I have also good memories there” – Max Verstappen, Red Bull.