Vertsappen Wins in Mexico; Hamilton Takes Title
MEXICO CITY, Mexico-R.I.S-- After three of the six of the Renault power units failed during the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, it was only left to Max Verstappen, who guided his Red Bull from start to finish to win the race by 19.6 seconds over Valterri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen took third for Ferrari.
But Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel, who needed to stay in the world championship to challenge Lewis Hamilton with first or a second-place finish, failed to do so, taking fourth, giving Hamilton his fourth title, joining the elites of Alain Prost and Vettel, who have done the same. Only Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio have won more.
“I did everything I could, and I don’t know what happened at zone three, I gave them plenty of room. A big thank you to my family, and my team, who have been incredible for the last five years, I am so proud to be part of it.” Hamilton concluded after the race.
Expecting a big challenge at the beginning of the race, the start began with the long straight expecting to be a factor—and it was as Verstappen moved around Vettel and took the lead in the race. But Hamilton also tried to get around Vettel and the German struck Hamilton’s rear right wheel in the process, flattening the tire of the Briton and having Hamilton return back to the pits to fix his puncture.
But Vettel also had to return to the pits, as his front wing was destroyed. Both drivers went to the back of the grid and had to fight their way to the front. Vettel was the most successful of the two, and managed to work his way up to fourth, but fell short as Raikkonen was too far up the road, along with Bottas and Verstappen. For Hamilton, it was tougher, but the advantage was with him, despite only finishing in ninth, Vettel failed to achieve his goal, making Hamilton the first British driver to win more than three world championships.
While the top two championship contenders were fighting by moving up the grid, Verstappen really had no difficulties after the opening lap. The Dutchman had no trouble increasing his lead, even after Brendon Harley had his Toro Rosso’s power unit engulf in flames on lap 33, bringing out the virtual safety car, Verstappen led Bottas from 13.6 seconds on lap 43 to a 17.8 second gap on lap 59, before increasing his lead to just under 20 seconds by the checkered flag.
Esteban Ocon led the best of the rest, taking fifth, while Lance Stroll, celebrating his 19th birthday, had a great present, finishing in sixth. Sergio Perez gave his home fans something to cheer for, by taking seventh, with Kevin Magnussen reversing fortunes for the American Haas F1 Team by finishing eighth, after the squad had a terrible weekend. Fernando Alonso took tenth in his McLaren.
For Verstappen, it is his second victory this season, and his third of his career, even at 20 years of age. But Verstappen was very pleased that things went so well.
“The start was very crucial, and I went outside, and that worked out well.” Verstappen noted. “I was basically looking after the tires and it performed brilliantly. Of course, after last week, it was a better of the two races. It was great to see that I pulled away”.
MEXICAN GRAND PRIX
At the Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City Mexico
Final Race Results
1Max Vertsappen(NED) Red Bull Racing
2Valterri Bottas(FIN) AMG Mercedes -- 19.6 seconds behind
3Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari
4Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari
5Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India
6Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams Martini Racing
7Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India
8Kevin Magnussen(DEN) Haas F1 Team
9Lewis Hamilton (GBR) AMG Mercedes
10Fernando Alonso (SPA) McLaren-Honda
11Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams Martini Racing
12Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren-Honda
13Pascal Gasly (FRA) Toro Rosso
14Pascal Wehrlein(GER) Sauber
15Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team
16Carlos Sainz Jr. (SPA) Renault- lap 62- power unit failure
17Markus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber—lap 58- power unit failure
18 Brendon Hartley (NZL) Toro Rosso-lap 33—power unit failure
19 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault—Lap 27—Power Unit Failure
20 Daniel Riccardo(AUS) Red Bull Racing—Lap 7- Power unit failure
A 16 year veteran of writing formula one racing weekend race reports, features and team launches, Mark has worked for such companies as all-sports, e-sports, The Munich Eye newspaper in Germany, racingnation.com and Autoweek. A former member for this site four years ago, Mark now is a contributor for R.I.S.