Nico Rosberg secured his twelfth career victory and the fourth of the season as he led Lewis Hamilton to the tenth Mercedes AMG PETRONAS 1-2 finish of the season around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday.
The German’s victory, coupled with a difficult afternoon for Sebastian Vettel and the entire Scuderia Ferrari team, meant Rosberg has moved back into second place in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of his countryman.
Rosberg maintained his lead from pole position at the start from Hamilton, and was never troubled by his team-mate, and appeared to have something in reserve for every time his Championship winning team-mate attacked.
Vettel on the other hand had a troubled day, suffering a puncture on the opening lap and retiring just after fifty laps as he spun into the barriers in the Esses section, having already spun there earlier in the race while fighting through the field.
Vettel’s crash brought out the safety car, but Rosberg was able to maintain the lead at the restart, while Valtteri Bottas made the most of fresher tyres to snatch the final podium position from Daniil Kvyat, who had been running third throughout the race up until that point.
Bottas had already clashed with the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen for the second time in three races, with the Ferrari driver retiring with a broken suspension as the two ran side by side into turn four before colliding at turn five. Raikkonen had been climbing up the order himself from a back row start, caused by a further penalty for an engine change before the race.
Kvyat maintained position ahead of his Infiniti Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo until the chequered flag, while the second Williams Martini Racing entry of Felipe Massa could not match team-mate Bottas, finishing sixth.
Nico Hulkenberg secured another strong result for the Sahara Force India team with seventh, just ahead of fans favourite and team-mate Sergio Perez, who managed to make the most of a one-stop strategy to secure eighth.
Max Verstappen ended the race in ninth for Scuderia Toro Rosso have run the early laps ahead of both Force India’s, while Romain Grosjean got the better of Lotus F1 Team team-mate Pastor Maldonado to secure the final point in tenth.
Marcus Ericsson had a quiet race to twelfth for the Sauber F1 Team, with his team-mate Felipe Nasr retiring just after the safety car period with overheating brakes.
Carlos Sainz Jr was running inside the points for a long time during the race before a mistake after the safety car, when he locked up heavily heading into turn one, cost him valuable time and valuable grip in the second Toro Rosso, meaning the Spaniard finished only thirteenth.
Jenson Button managed to finish fourteenth for McLaren-Honda having started at the back of the field following multiple engine changes and grid penalties, although he was never truly on the pace of those in front of him. Team-mate Fernando Alonso retired at the end of the opening lap with a MGU-H issue, something that the Spaniard had hoped would solve itself at the start, but it did not and Alonso retired in the pits.
Both Manor F1 Team drivers finished the race, with Alexander Rossi maintaining his 100% record over Will Stevens.
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Race Result
|4||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull-Renault||+16.572s|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull-Renault||+19.682s|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India-Mercedes||+25.860s|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India-Mercedes||+34.343s|
|9||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso-Renault||+35.229s|
|13||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||Toro Rosso-Renault||+48.772s|
|15||53||Alexander Rossi||USA||Manor-Ferrari||+2 Laps|
|16||28||Will Stevens||GBR||Manor-Ferrari||+2 Laps|