MEXICO CITY, Mexico—Max Verstappen put his name into the formula 1 history books, not only by winning his record-breaking 14thseasonal race of the year, but by lapping every car in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix up to sixth place. Lewis Hamilton took second in fine fashion but was unable to match the Dutchman’s pace while Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, finished in front of his home fans in third.
The top three began the race in the same positions that they eventually finished in, as Verstappen led right from the start and held a firm gap until he began to have tire issues, which gave Hamilton a chance to catch the Red Bull driver on lap 26.
But it was as close as Hamilton could get to the Dutchman, as the regular round of pitstops gave Verstappen the lead for the rest of the race, keeping a gap of 15 seconds before the Red Bull driver took the same number of wins in a season in dominate fashion, surpassing the record that at the time was occupied by both Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
“It helped me out a lot for the rest of the race, to stay in the lead on Turn One.” Verstappen later admitted. “Of course, we were also on a different strategy to the cars around us but again an incredible result. The pace of the car was really nice. We had to look after our tyres because it was a very long stint on the medium, but we made it work.”
While the front of the grid was uneventful, the rest of it was full of excitement. George Russell brought his Mercedes in just laps from the finish, knowing that the Briton would secure fourth place, putting on soft tyres and trying to get that one crucial point for fastest lap of the race. The Briton did achieve this, finishing in front of both Ferrari’s of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Daniel Ricciardo has had an awful season and lost his seat at McLaren for next year. But on Sunday, the Australian put on a set of soft tyres near the end of the race, and passed both Alpine’s of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, who retired with engine issues laps from the race, into seventh place. But a penalty was issued to Ricciardo early on lap 52, when Ricciardo ran into Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, knocking the Japanese driver out with a broken right sidepod. Ten seconds were issued, but Ricciardo made that time up at the conclusion of the race to keep his seventh-place finish.
Ocon ended up eighth, while the second McLaren of Lando Norris was ninth. Valtteri Bottas finished his Alfa Romeo in tenth, after starting sixth.
Verstappen still has two races left to increase his win record for the season.
"It's an incredible atmosphere and we love to come here. (In Mexico). It's been an incredible year so far. We are definitely enjoying it and will try to go for more." Verstappen concluded.
Brazil will be on the next stop on the F1 calendar in two weeks, at the famous Interlagos circuit.
By Mark Gero