Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen claims victory at the Mexican Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton creating history by claiming his fifth Formula 1 world championship.
Verstappen clinched his fifth win in F1 after losing out to pole position to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. He was able to pass him down the run towards Turn 1 on the opening lap, where he dominated all of the race. Scuderia Ferrari‘s followed in second and third with Sebastian Vettel finishing ahead of Kimi Räikkönen. Pole sitter Ricciardo suffered another retirement in the late stage of the race whilst in second place.
Hamilton secured fourth place, which was enough for him to claim his fifth world championship in Formula 1, the third time in history an F1 driver has achieved that amount of championships.
The Brit couldn’t secure a podium finish as he struggled to keep his tyres healthy, resorting in the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver to take a two-stop strategy. Valtteri Bottas finished in fifth behind his team-mate.
Renault Sport Formula One Team‘s Nico Hülkenberg secured sixth place ahead of Charles Leclerc in seventh. McLaren F1 Team‘s Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his fourth points finish of the season with eighth place. Marcus Ericsson ended the race in ninth whilst Pierre Gasly rounded off the top ten, despite starting the race from last.
Verstappen took control of the race in the race down towards Turn 1, with Hamilton passing Ricciardo for second. Vettel lost ground to Bottas for fourth but gained the place back as the Finn went off track at Turn 6. Esteban Ocon suffered damage to his front wing and was forced to pit, sending him to the back of the pack.
Fernando Alonso collected the debris from Ocon’s front wing and entered in his McLaren’s cooling holes, causing him to retire and bringing out the Virtual Safety Car on the fourth lap.
Mercedes pitted both drivers on lap 11 with Hamilton getting service first for the Supersoft tyres, with team-mate Bottas following closely behind. Ricciardo, who was chasing down Hamilton for second responded on the next lap but couldn’t make the jump ahead of the British driver.
Verstappen pitted in on Lap 13 for the Supersoft tyres and got out ahead of both Hamilton and Ricciardo in third, behind the two Ferrari cars who were yet to stop.
Vettel pitted on Lap 17 in the lead for the Supersoft tyres, with team-mate Räikkönen following in for a double stacked stop. Vettel came back out in fourth with his Finnish team-mate in sixth.
On Lap 30, Vettel started to gain on Ricciardo for third place but couldn’t orchestrate a pass on the Australian driver whilst battling their way through traffic. An another Virtual Safety Car was brought out to clear away a stranded Renault car of Carlos Sainz Jr. down in the stadium section.
After the VSC ended on Lap 34, Vettel managed to rapidly close down Ricciardo whilst they encountered traffic, which held the Australian up and allowed Vettel to pass in the run down towards Turn 1 with DRS for third place.
The charging German soon closed down second place Hamilton, eventually passing him at Turn 1 cleanly as Hamilton allowed him through knowing a top seven finish would give him the title.
Mexican driver Sergio Pérez‘s race came to an end with an mechanical issue, ending a strong performance from the Racing Point Force India F1 driver. His team-mate Ocon made contact with Brendon Hartley at Turn 2 whilst battling for thirteenth, hitting the left side of his Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda car and causing front wing damage to the Force India.
Hamilton lost ground to Vettel after the German passed him with Ricciardo closing down on him for third. The Australian attempted to pass the Brit but Hamilton locked up his tyres at Turn 1 and went off onto the grass, rewarding the place to the Australian.
Vettel and Hamilton pitted at the end of Lap 47 for a second time, with Verstappen following from the lead for a set of Ultrasoft tyres. Bottas repeated the same mistake Hamilton made when battling with Räikkönen, followed up with a pit stop for new tyres.
Ricciardo remained on track and placed himself in second place, but soon found Vettel on new tyres caught up but couldn’t find his way pass until Lap 62, when smoke started to pour out from the rear of the Red Bull, forcing him to retire from the race and handing second place to Vettel. A third VSC was brought out to clear away the stranded Red Bull.
Red Bull instructed Verstappen to turn his engine down to prevent a repeat of an issue that occurred with his team-mate. With a fifteen second gap to Vettel, Verstappen clinched victory and his first win of the season. Vettel finished in second and ended his title charge as he failed to capture the needed win to keep the title race alive. Hamilton cruised to fourth place, securing a fifth world title by celebrating with doughnuts in the stadium section on the cool down lap.
History has been made with Hamilton now only two titles away from Michael Schumacher‘s record of seven world championship. With two races to spare in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari in the constructors’ championship is still undecided.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:38:28.851|
|2||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||+17.3|
|3||7||Kimi Raikkonen||FIN||Scuderia Ferrari||+49.9|
|4||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||+78.7|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||+1 Lap|
|6||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Renault Sport Formula 1 Team||+2 Laps|
|7||16||Charles Leclerc||MCN||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||+2 Laps|
|8||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||McLaren F1 Team||+2 Laps|
|9||9||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||+2 Laps|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||+2 Laps|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||+2 Laps|
|12||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Williams Martini Racing||+2 Laps|
|13||35||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||Williams Martini Racing||+2 Laps|
|14||28||Brendon Hartley||NZL||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||+2 Laps|
|15||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||+2 Laps|
|16||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||+3 Laps|
|DNF||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||Mechanical/Lap 62|
|DNF||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||Mechanical/Lap 40|
|DNF||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Renault Sport Formula 1 Team||Mechanical/Lap 30|
|DNF||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||Damage/Lap 4|