F1: 395,902 attended Mexico City GP

The highest-ever attendance of 395,902 spectators enjoyed the 60thMexico City GP F1 race over the three-days.

A record 145,934 attended on Sunday to watch Max Verstappen win his 4th Mexico City GP.

Verstappen took his fourth win at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and set a new record of 14 Grand Prix wins in a single season, as Red Bull Racing produced another brilliant team performance in Sunday’s FORMULA 1 MEXICO CITY GRAND PRIX Presented by Heineken.

A general view of the podium showing Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Second placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and Third placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 30, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Verstappen recorded a winning time of 1hr 38m 36.729s with an average speed of 185.79km/h, but the significant statistic was the 15.186 second gap to second-placed Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.  With local favorite Sergio Pérez third, the podium at the Autodrómo Hermanos Rodríguez was exactly the same as it was last year.

“Unbelievable – what a season!” said a jubilant Verstappen after the 25-year-old Dutch driver claimed the 34th victory of his Formula 1 career. “It’s an incredible result,” he said. “The pace of the car was really nice. It’s been an incredible year so far, we’re definitely enjoying it – and we’ll try to go for more.”

It was a bitter-sweet day for Pérez, who had hoped to go two places higher on the podium in front of his home crowd which had reached a record 395,902 over the three days, as Mexico celebrated 60 years as a Grand Prix venue.

“I gave my best today,” said the 32-year-old who lit up the streets of his home city Guadalajara earlier in the week. “I don’t want to stop there,” said Pérez just before stepping up to the podium in front of his adoring fans. “I really wanted more today” he added. But he couldn’t close the gap to the leaders after a slow pitstop.

The key to today’s result was tires, and it became a strategic battle between the teams to choose the optimum rubber. Red Bull opted to start on Pirelli’s soft compound and changed to mediums; Mercedes went the other way, starting on mediums and finishing on the hard compound.

“I was so close on the first stint,” said a rueful Hamilton, “but ultimately the Red Bulls were too fast – and maybe they had the right tire strategy.” His team-mate George Russell complained about the tire choice during the race but pitted for softs at the very end to claim a bonus point for a fastest race lap of 1:20.153s, an average of 193.310km/h — on his way to fourth place.

The first surprise of the 71-lap race was that all 20 cars emerged unscathed after the 811-metre drag to Turn 1, where Verstappen was in command, but Hamilton had stolen second place from Russell – and home hero Pérez was up into third.

The second surprise was that within a few laps it was a clear battle between Red Bull and Mercedes as Valtteri Bottas, who started in sixth place on the grid for Alfa Romeo, lost places and the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc also fell away from the leaders after the start. They finished fifth and sixth respectively, Leclerc – in his 100th F1 start – admitted how bad it was: “The thing that hurts is that I felt we had maximized everything today and we were still a minute behind Max.”

The first retirement of the race came after 51 laps when Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren misjudged a move on Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri at Turn 5, forcing the Japanese driver into retirement for the second year running in Mexico.

The Australian picked up a 10-second penalty for his trouble. He then proceeded to light up the closing laps on the soft tire. He swept past both the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso and wiped out his penalty as he finished seventh overall. With Ocon eighth and Lando Norris ninth in the second McLaren, the team closed the gap to the French team in their battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

One of the enduring images of this seventh Mexico City Grand Prix was of a double World Champion in anguish: Alonso retired his Alpine yet again, got out and shook his fists into the air, then laid his head on the barrier in despair. Moments later the Spaniard waved to the Mexican fans and in return they showed their appreciation for a great champion.



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