Formula 1

Formula 1: Verstappen dominates Mexico City GP, Hamilton 2nd, home hero Perez 3rd.

Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter

After taking the lead into turn 1, Verstappen took control to take his 3rd win in Mexico. Hamilton finished 2nd, which is damage control in terms of the championship. Home hero Perez took a very popular 3rd placed finish, after leading earlier in the race.

Verstappen storms as Bottas Spins

The top 3 had a superb start off the line and barrelled into the first corner 3 abreast. On the outside Verstappen, who was the last of the late brakers, managed to sweep into the lead. Behind, chaos struck as Bottas was turned around after contact with Ricciardo.  This led to many cars taking avoiding action, but Tsunoda and Schumacher were unable to avoid retirement after both drivers made contact with Ocon. The Frenchman was able to continue and didn’t receive a penalty.

This led to the safety car being brought out, Verstappen was leading from Hamilton and home hero, Perez.

It took 4 laps to clear up the mess and Verstappen sprinted away superbly on the restart, Hamilton wasn’t even able to attempt an overtake into turn 1. Giovinazzi, who had climbed to 6th, tried an optimistic move on Sainz into turn 1, but was not successful.

By the end of lap 6, the first full racing lap, Verstappen had a 1.5s lead, ensuring that Hamilton would not gain DRS on the incredibly long straight.

At the tail end of the points, Russell and Raikkonen engaged in a battle for 9th. Russell gained 7 places on the first lap, ahead of some fearsome competition. Raikkonen was able to bide his time and swept around the Mercedes bound Briton at turn 1. This placed him in 10th, just ahead of Alonso. Using DRS, the Spaniard was able to pull alongside into turn 1. The two drivers gave each other space and, using the quicker line, Alonso was able to find a way past.

After dropping to the back of the grid on lap 1, both Ricciardo and Bottas were not able to make any immediate progress. As lap 13 started, they were 17th and 18th respectively and 40s away from the lead. They gained posititons slowly, during the first pit stops, but Bottas was stuck behind the McLaren, unable to find a way past even with slipstream and DRS on the main straight.

Temperamental tyres

Hamilton raised issues with his tyres on lap 14, which Bono (his race engineer) confirmed was a temperature issue. Perez behind was now closing the gap, with only 2.3s between him and the reigning champion. In the following laps, Perez maintained the gap, mounting pressure on the pit stop strategy for both drivers. By lap 29, the gap was a mere 1.5s. This led to Hamilton pitting on lap 30, but disaster struck as he came out right behind 4th placed Leclerc. However, any potential small gain was nullified as Perez went long on his stint.

Verstappen was the first Red Bull driver to pit and it was a perfect stop for Dutchman. This meant that Perez inherited the lead, becoming the first Mexican to lead a lap at a home GP.

Perez finally pitted on lap 40 and, despite conversations of switching to the soft tyre, bolted on the hard compound tyre. Perez was now a comfortable 3rd, but he was 9s away from Hamilton. His tyres were 11 laps younger, but the hard tyre had been predicted to be incredibly durable.

Ricciardo and Bottas made their second stops half way through the race. Bottas was hoping to find a way past the McLaren, but a 12s stop put him even further behind.

Ferrari were enjoying a potentially superb result against McLaren, with both drivers occupying 5th and 6th. However, the scarlet cars were unable to close up to Gasly in 4th, who was having an absolutely phenomenal race. In an attempt to launch an attack at the Alpha Tauri, Leclerc let Sainz past, somewhat begrudgingly.

Perez’s potential

On lap 58 Perez managed to get within 2s of Hamilton. The crowd were going absolutely wild as the Red Bull pulled up behind the Mercedes. Hamilton was behind Norris on track, who was far enough to evade blue flags, but close enough to give him turbulent air.

On lap 61, Perez finally got into DRS territory, the Mexican driver was tantalisingly close to the championship challenger. But, traffic worked against him. After they had finally dispatched numerous blue flags, the gap had extended back to 2s. Perez took a few laps to charge the battery but, despite one last charge, it wasn’t enough for the home hero.

Late on, Bottas pitted from 13th in an attempt to take the fastest lap. However, Bottas came out too close to Verstappen and was not able to get into clean air. This led to another pitstop only 2 laps later to put the Finn into clean air. Bottas was able to snatch the last point away on the final lap, taking a new lap record in the process.

For the third race in a row, Verstappen extends his championship lead, now at 19 points. Hamilton took 2nd, but finds himself in a difficult position with only 4 races to go. Perez took driver of the day on his way to 3rd and revelled in the celebrations with his home crowd. Gasly took an incredible 4th, despite having a lonely race while the Ferraris switched back, giving Leclerc 5th and Sainz 6th. Vettel took a solid 7th place, ahead of Raikkonen, an incredible performance. Alonso and Norris rounded out the top 10.


  1. Verstappen
  2. Hamilton +16.555
  3. Perez + 17.752
  4. Gasly + 63.845
  5. Leclerc +81.037
  6. Sainz + 1 Lap
  7. Vettel + 1 Lap
  8. Raikkonen + 1 Lap
  9. Alonso + 1 Lap
  10. Norris + 1 Lap
  11. Giovinazzi + 1 Lap
  12. Ricciardo + 1 Lap
  13. Ocon + 1 Lap
  14. Stroll + 2 Laps
  15. Bottas + 2 Laps
  16. Russell + 2 Laps
  17. Latifi + 2 Laps
  18. Mazepin + 3 Laps
  19. Schumacher RET
  20. Tsunoda RET

The podium ceremony was absolutely outstanding, could it be the definitive turning point in this championship? With only 4 races to go, it’s advantage Red Bull and Verstappen.

@F1 Official Twitter






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