Mercedes has done it again, after an unbelievable show of tire management and raw pace, Lewis Hamilton has beat a Ferrari front row lockout to take victory in Mexico, and make history as Mercedes’ 100th Formula 1 win.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen the defending champion of the Mexican Grand Prix, took pole position during Saturday’s qualifying. The celebrations were cut short though as Verstappen was handed a three place grid penalty for failing to slow down during a yellow flag, caused by Mercedes’ Valterri Bottas’ crash during the end of qualifying.
This gave Ferrari a front row lockout with Charles Leclerc on pole and Sebastian Vettel right behind him, making this the sixth race in a row Ferrari has been on pole position.
Both Ferraris had a great start with Leclerc taking the lead and Vettel following close behind. Verstappen, eager to make up for his qualifying penalty had an aggressive start leading to first lap contact with Hamilton, forcing both drivers into the grass and pushing Hamilton down to P5 and Verstappen down to P8.
Verstappen continued to try and move up the field but contact with Bottas on lap 4 caused a tire puncture and an early pit stop. Verstappen switched to hard tires and climbed his way back up to finish in P6 behind teammate Alex Albon in P5.
Hamilton continued to climb through the field in what was a masterclass of tire management. After switching to hard tires during lap 24, Hamilton went on to win the race after a 48-laps of the same tires. Race leader Charles Leclerc, saw the win slip through his fingers as a slow pitstop saw him unable to recover the lead eventually finishing the race in P4.
Sebastian Vettel continued to have strong pace throughout the race, holding onto P2. Hamilton’s teammate Valterri Bottas had a strong race as well, moving up from sixth place in qualifying into a respectable P3 finish and scoring just enough points to remain in contention for the world champion title.
The midfield battle saw an incredible victory for Mexican driver and hometown hero Racing Point’s Sergio Perez who finished the race in an incredible seventh.
Midfield leaders McLaren failed to score points this race after a botched pitstop led to Lando Norris’ eventual retirement from the race and an aggressive midfield battle saw Carlos Sainz finish out of the points in P13.
Despite an end of race crash for Nico Hulkenburg caused by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, Renault had a good performance with driver Daniel Ricciardo finishing P8 and Hulkenberg finishing P10 after Kvyat took a time penalty for causing the crash.
Formula 1 returns to the US this weekend for the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Lewis Hamilton hopes to secure his position as the 2019 Drivers’ Champion this weekend as he fends off the last remaining title contender and teammate Valterri Bottas.