Max Verstappen also wins in Mexico and holds the record: most victories in 1 season

He just wins again! Max Verstappen has won the Mexican Grand Prix for the 4th time in 7 editions. But, more importantly, he won for the 14th time this season and that is a record. There has never been a driver who won more than 13 times in one season. The record was previously held by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

Verstappen was perfectly off at the start: he started on pole position and was already about 1.5 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton after half a lap. Despite the Dutchman driving on soft tires, Verstappen was unable to drive further away from Hamilton (started on mediums). After 10 laps (out of 71) the Brit was still about 1.5 seconds behind Verstappen.

Pérez took P3 from George Russell at the start, which led to loud cheers from the Mexican stands. It got interesting at the pit stops: the Red Bulls brought Pérez in for new tires on lap 24 (out of 71) as he also started the race on the soft tyre. The Mexican came back on P6, behind the 2 Ferraris. Red Bull had put mediums under Pérez’ car.

Verstappen’s stop
On lap 26, Verstappen made the same stop. The Dutchman returned to the track just before the Ferraris, in P3. On lap 30 Hamilton came in for the hard tire meaning a 1 stopper. So it’s up to Verstappen to drive away from the Brit, since the Red Bull driver would probably make a 2-stopper. Hamilton came onto the track behind Verstappen: P3.

Russell came in on lap 35, to have his mediums replaced with hards as well. Due to the pit stop of the Briton, Verstappen returned to P1. The top 4 after the 1st stops: Verstappen, Hamilton, Pérez.

Ferrari

What was striking was that Ferrari could not keep up with the pace of Red Bull and Mercedes. On lap 45 of 71, Carlos Sainz (P5) was about 25 seconds behind Russell and Charles Leclerc was again a few seconds behind.

Not a 2-stop after all?
In lap 53, Verstappen was 10 seconds ahead of Hamilton. It raised the question: did the Red Bull driver go in again for a pit stop, or was he going to try again with a 1-stop? On lap 60 out of 71, with a 13 second lead, it was clear that the Dutchman was no longer going to the pit lane. Through to the end, as well as Pérez. The Mexican was still within a second or two of Hamilton.

In the final phase of the race it became clear that Hamilton was just a little too fast for Pérez with his hard tires. The Mexican has to make do with a 3rd place at his home track. Verstappen actually drove without too many worries to a new 1st place (and a record!). Mercedes driver Hamilton found himself in P2, between the 2 Red Bull drivers. Russell finished just outside the podium, Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished 5th and 6th.

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