Verstappen won his 14th race of the season after dominated the field at this weekend’s Mexican GP. Lewis Hamilton took yet another P2 finish this year with local boy Sergio Perez finishing 3rd.
Among the various records broken this season, Verstappen now has the most number of wins than any other drivers in a single season, breaking Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s joint record of 13 wins. Along with that, Verstappen has also scored the most points by any driver in one season, with Red Bull clocking their biggest points haul since its inception.
Russell took the chequered at P4 with the Ferrari’s of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc having a disappointing race at P5 and 6, latter being the last of the lead lap finishers. Daniel Ricciardo, who was hit with a 10s time penalty after a collision with Yuki Tsunoda, came home 7th after what can only be described his best drive of the season; essentially characterising majority of the overtaking at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon crossed the line P8 in the sole remaining Alpine after teammate Fernando Alonso added yet another to his tally of engine-related retirements this season. Lando Norris finished 9th to bring about another double points finish for McLaren. Bottas rounded up the final points place at P10.
The Mexican GP wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable of races. Basically a snoozefest of drivers and teams managing their tires to maximise their stint, no team at front playing it difficult. The drivers in the midfield made the race watch-worthy: Ricciardo’s overtakes through the field, his antics on Tsunoda, Zhou’s feisty moves and Stroll’s battle with Gasly (the latter even getting a 5s time penalty for running the Canadian off the track) can basically be used sum up the entire action on Sunday.
Winners and Losers of the Mexican GP:
The uninteresting nature of the Grand Prix should not sway the limelight away from Verstappen’s post-championship ever-hungry nature for wins even. Let’s have a look at who took the W’s and L’s this weekend.
Winner: Max Verstappen
A perfect 10/10 performance, Verstappen was absolutely untouchable at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on race day. Winning by a decisive 15s margin over Hamilton, the Dutchman’s medium tire stint went in way Mercedes’ would have wanted least. Add to that, the RB18’s feather-touch tire strain, rivals could only come ever so close to him.
Neither of the Silver Arrows could capitalise on their best shot all year to take a win against the Bulls. The team should no receive much flak for it though, as the hard tires were just not suited for that particular track and car setup. Neither did Hamilton put up an attack to the way-faster Verstappen, nor could Russell take advantage of a P2 start, dropping to P4 within the first lap. That being said, the lack of hard tire pace could have been because of the drivers not pushing their cars not as much they could have, mostly being in the comfort zone.
McLaren came up as the unlikely winners of the weekend, with one of their drivers basically making up for the dull racing action with his moves through the field, while its other driver finished P9 for a double points finish for the team. Although 7 points behind Alpine, with latter finishing the race with only one car McLaren are closing in on the French outfit.
Ferrari taking one of the L’s is no longer a surprise this year. Despite Leclerc taking new power unit components the previous race, the Italian team could only best the midfield. The car package became increasingly slower as the weekend progressed, with race conditions showing a well-below-standards pace. Perez overtook Charles at one point in the race with a display of startling speed differential, just reinstating Ferrari’s lack of quality in the championship.
Although Esteban Ocon scraped home three points, the fact that Fernando Alonso’s brilliant drive and race pace was basically thrown to waste with yet another engine failure is a testament to how unprepared Renault are in their engine department. The Spanish champion’s frustration wasn’t unwarranted, with this being his 5th DNF of the season. The Spaniard, leaving for Aston Martin next season, is perhaps to end his Alpine relations to strenuous scenes; not something we haven’t seen this before.
The Mexican GP was not the race most had expected, but sure had some highs (and mostly lows). But fret not, for in 2 weeks’ time, Formula 1 goes to Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has a reputation of churning out an absolute banger of a race every single time! If you liked what you read, be sure to check out our Motorsport page, and Car News page for the latest news. Also do check out our YouTube Channel for reviews and other informative videos!