Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen scored his second straight win in Formula 1 Mexico GP from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen but Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton stole the show after securing his fifth title.
Red Bull looked mighty competitive from the onset of the Mexico GP with Verstappen topping all the practice sessions. However, teammate Daniel Ricciardo managed to grab pole much to the disappointment to Verstappen.
The race though went Verstappen’s way as a dream start helped him into a lead from Hamilton while Ricciardo was left to fend off a battling Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. The Australian’s luck was still away as he faced yet another retirement.
His teammate was dominant to win for the second consecutive time in Mexico while Vettel and Raikkonen completed the podium after troubles with the tyre compounds for Mercedes duo meant Hamilton was only fourth with Bottas in fifth.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg sixth place helped them to gain more points on Haas who couldn’t score while Sauber’s teamwork with Charles Leclerc in seventh and Marcus Ericsson in ninth meant they went ahead of Toro Rosso.
A statistical highlights of the grand prix:
- Verstappen’s scored his career’s fifth, season’s second and also second win in Mexico. He joined Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell to win two Mexico GPs.
- This is for the second time that Verstappen won in Mexico and Hamilton secured his world title after last year. It is Hamilton’s fifth title as he matches Juan Manuel Fangio and is only the third driver to win more than four titles.
- Red Bull scored its 59th win – all with Renault. It was the team’s second win in Mexico as it joined Mercedes and Ferrari with two wins
- Verstappen scored his 20th career podium with Vettel his 110th and Raikkonen’s 102nd. Raikkonen increased his record of most third place finishes to 44 races now.
- Bottas secured the fastest lap trophy of the season with his sixth one. It was ninth in his career.
- Ricciardo recorded his career’s third pole – first outside Monaco but then registered his eighth retirement of the season. Fernando Alonso also had his eighth non-finish but the Spaniard has been classified in two races where he covered more than 90% of race distance.
- Pierre Gasly started the race in last position but finished in tenth – the most places gained of any driver in the race.
- Four drivers retired in Mexico with three of them native Spanish speaking drivers – Alonso, Carlos and Sergio Perez. Ricciardo was the fourth retiring driver.
- Only the Top 4 drivers finished the Mexico GP on the lead lap – Bottas in fifth was a lap down whereas everyone from sixth to 15th were two laps down with Romain Grosjean in 16th was three laps down.
- Hamilton technically won the championship two laps before the end of the race since the worst place he would have finished would have been fifth, within the points gap required to take the trophy.
- The positions for Hamilton and Ricciardo in the drivers’ standings is intact in the Top 10 with the Australian certain to finish sixth.
- Points for both Leclerc and Ericsson meant Sauber leapfrogged Toro Rosso in the standings by three points. Ericsson has only finished either ninth or 10th this year and matched his career’s best of nine points in a season which he achieved in 2015.
- Stoffel Vandoorne scored his first points in 14 races since Azerbaijan GP.
- Nico Hulkenberg’s sixth place meant Renault has now scored 114 points this year which is double of what it managed in the whole of 2017 season.
- Sauber’s 36 points this year means it has equaled its best team result in the hybrid era which came in 2015. Leclerc’s 27 points means he has equaled the best driver result for Sauber in the hybrid era matching Felipe Nasr’s record from 2015.
- Ferrari’s 530 points this year means it has already scored more points than what it managed in 2017 when it scored 522 points.
- Brendon Hartley was the only driver given penalty points in Mexico GP for causing a collision. He takes his tally to six points. Grosjean is still on the bubble for a race ban with a total of nine points. It will ease slightly on Monday after the Brazil GP where two more points will be cancelled out – provided he doesn’t incur anymore in Brazil.
[Check: US GP stats]