F1: Verstappen schools Hamilton yet again to win Mexico City GP

A sell-out crowd delivering a party atmosphere saw F1 World Champion Max Verstappen grab the lead from pole in his #1 Red Bull Honda and take Lewis Hamilton in the #44 Mercedes to school all race long to win his 3rd straight Mexico City GP by 15.186 seconds over his arch rival.

Hamilton stayed within 2-seconds of Verstappen through the first round of pitstops, but after that Verstappen gradually opened the lead to Hamilton as the Dutchman continues to take the Brit to school each and every race.

2nd place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13 during the Mexico City GP at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Carl Bingham / LAT Images)

It was the 14th win for Verstappen in 2022, breaking the record of 13 for a single season he held with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. It was Verstappen’s 34th career F1 win.

“An incredible result, the pace of the car was very nice,” said Verstappen. “We had to look after our tires, especially the very long last stint on the mediums!”

“You do not cease to amaze me, a very special effort,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 leads Hamilton and Perez early during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images )

“First this has been an amazing crowd, I have so much love for Mexico and the people here,” said Hamilton as the Mexican crowd booed him loudly.

“I was so close in that first stint, but the Red Bulls were too quick today and maybe they had the better strategy. I’m not sure [the hard] was the right tire in the end.”

Hamilton complained that Mercedes chose the wrong tire strategy and maybe they did, but Hamilton beat the Red Bull of Perez, but Verstappen is the most talented driver of this era, and he carries the Red Bull to win after win on race Sundays.

Sergio Perez came home third in the 2nd Red Bull Honda to the cheers of his home crowd. It was the same podium as last year, with Verstappen winning over Hamilton and Perez.

“I gave my best today at the start, I really pushed hard,” said Perez as the crowd cheered.

Red Bull has to be said nailed it once again, the only blot on their day that slightly slow stop for Perez that probably cost him second.

“Unfortunately, we had a bad stop to prevent us undercutting Lewis. Then behind him, it was difficult to follow so I had to stay in third. Still, it’s a good podium and in front of this crowd – I really wanted more today but third is still good.”

George Russell was a distant 4th in the 2nd Mercedes, 49.431 seconds behind.

Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top-5 for Ferrari, beating his teammate Charles Leclerc by 10-seconds ahead of McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo, who charged his way to seventh with soft tires late on and kept the position despite a 10-second time penalty for a clash with Yuki Tsunoda.

Esteban Ocon placed eighth, after a painful late retirement for Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso, as the other McLaren of Lando Norris and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas – not quite able to repeat his qualifying performance – completed the points.

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly picked up a five-second penalty for an early, aggressive move on Aston Martin rival Lance Stroll and ultimately missed out on a point by just half a second, with Alex Albon 12th for Williams.

After taking the checkered, Verstappen pulled over in the stadium section and stood on the nose of his car, raising both arms aloft as the crowd cheered hm on.

Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images )

He certainly goes well here, but today’s performance was something special. What a season he has put together, and today’s drive was worthy of the gold helmet he has sported all weekend.

So that was Mexico then, with the circus taking a rare weekend off before the last double-header to close out the season. Two races to go, Brazil up next followed by Abu Dhabi a week later.

Race Results – 71 Laps

1 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing +0.000s
2 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas +15.186s
3 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Bull Racing +18.097s
4 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas +49.431s
5 55 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Scuderia Ferrari +58.123s
6 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari +65.831s
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team +1 Lap
8 31 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team +1 Lap
9 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team +1 Lap
10 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen +1 Lap
11 10 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri +1 Lap
12 23 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing +1 Lap
13 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen +1 Lap
14 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant +1 Lap
15 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant +1 Lap
16 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team +1 Lap
17 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team +1 Lap
18 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing +2 Laps
19 14 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team DNF
20 22 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri DNF


How the Race Unfolded

At the race start, Verstappen got away well on soft compound tires to take the lead ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Hamilton who both started on medium tires. As the Mercedes pair jockeyed for position in the first corners, Russell went wide in Turn 3. That gave Pérez the chance to attack Russell and passed the Mercedes driver in Turn 3 to take third place.

At the front, Verstappen settled into the first stint. He was shadowed throughout by Hamilton, however, and the pit stop window opened for the soft tire starters the Mercedes driver was just 2.3s behind the Red Bull driver.

Pérez was the first of the front-runners to pit on lap 24, and he took on medium tires. There was a problem fitting the rear left, however, and after 5.0s stationary he got away and rejoined behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in P6.

Verstappen, complaining that his front-left tire was dead, pitted at the end of lap 25 and after a 2.5s stop to switch to medium tires he rejoined ahead of Sainz in third and began to hunt down Hamilton and Russell who now held the top two positions on their starting medium tires.

Hamilton made his first stop on lap 29 switching to hard compound Pirelli tires as he targeted a run to the checkered flag, and he dropped to third behind Verstappen. Pérez then inherited fourth place when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz pitted at the end of the next lap and Mercedes brought Russell in for his sole stop at the end of lap 34. After switching to hard tires Russell rejoined in fourth place, seven seconds behind Pérez.

The final stint then became a tactical battle, with the Red Bull pair looking to nurse their medium tires to the flag, while Mercedes banked on the durability of the hard tires to give them a late advantage.

The advantage didn’t materialize, however, and Verstappen and Pérez managed the pace well to the flag, with Verstappen building a 12-second gap to Hamilton, while Pérez found himself four seconds clear of Russell.

That gap stretched further when Alpine’s Fernando Alonso steered off track with an engine issue on lap 66 and following a brief VSC period Verstappen stretched to 14 seconds clear. And after 71 laps he crossed the line with 15.1 seconds in hand to claim his record-breaking 14th win.


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