Verstappen hacks the World Cup in Mexico

  • The Dutchman signs his ninth victory of the season and takes a giant step in his fight for the title with Hamilton, second despite pressure from Pérez

  • Carlos Sainz has completed a solid race (6th) and Fernando Alonso has minimized damage after a bad weekend to finish in the points (9th)

There is a lot of World Cup left. Four great prizes of maximum intensity. But without a doubt this Sunday Max Verstappen has taken a giant step towards achieving his first Formula 1 title. The Dutch driver has conquered a overwhelming victory, the ninth of the season for him, in the Grand Prix of Mexico and has strengthened its leadership, already standing with 19 points clear of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who was second. Sergio perez, with the stands of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, completely overturned in it, it has been emptied to try to catch up with Hamilton in an agonizing final, but the Englishman has not given him any opportunity and Checo has had to settle for the ‘bronze’ and the reward of being the first Mexican rider to get on the podium in his country.

Exit with ‘morbid’

After being surprised by the Mercedes in qualifying and placing third on the grid, after Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton, Verstappen’s mission was to overtake Hamilton at the start. Toto Wolff he had given the strategy a lot of thought. The ideal was Bottas to plug Max and help Lewis get away. With so many factors at stake and the precedents of Silverstone and Monza, the ‘morbid’ was served.

When push comes to shove, Hamilton has beaten Bottas in a blazing outing, but the Finn has lost sight of Verstappen at the crucial moment. The Dutchman has met the gift of his rival’s slipstream and he managed to get to the first stop in parallel with the two Mercedes, which he left behind in a risky maneuver.

Hamilton has been placed in the wake of Max and Ricciardo has hit Bottas’s car, which has trumpeted causing great confusion, with Mick Schumacher and Tsunoda accidents. The safety car took to the track before completing the first lap and when he retired, on the fourth, Verstappen took the lead to escape.

Worst case scenario for Hamilton

With Bottas sunk in the tail of the peloton and Sergio Pérez stalking him in third place with Red Bull, Hamilton has encountered the worst possible scenario and in just ten laps he already gave up 5 seconds with the leader of the World Championship. Verstappen chained fast laps and the Autodromo de los Hermanos Rodríguez roared for the ‘Checo’ to put pressure on Mercedes.

With a one-stop approach and waiting for the pit dance to begin, the difference between Verstappen and Hamilton was already approaching 10 seconds and the Englishman was the first to enter. A very fast pit-stop that has not contributed anything to the race. “My tires are fine”Max said on the radio that he managed the situation perfectly and stopped five laps later than his rival.

Pérez has stretched his stop to the maximum, on lap 40, to reach the final stage on tires 10 laps cooler than those of Hamilton. The Mexican, who at the home grand prix has had the impressive support of his compatriots, was looking to overcome the seven-time champion and achieve a historic Red Bull double. He has narrowly missed it as Hamilton, who is playing for his eighth crown, has not given him a chance at a dramatic finish.

Carlos Sainz, sixth on the grid, has opted for the same strategy as ‘Checo’ and has delayed his pit stop to the limit (43 laps) with the idea of ​​catching up with Leclerc in the particular pulse of the Ferrari men for fifth place, but neither did the Madrilenian beat his teammate and finished sixth.

It was definitely not the day for Bottas, who after climbing to points positions, lost 11 seconds in a very slow stop by Mercedes. The collaboration of the Finn, who this season says goodbye to the team, has remained in a fast lap ‘in extremis’ (1.17.774), which has left Verstappen without her and has subtracted a point from the Dutch.

Fernando Alonso has minimized the damage on a low-performance weekend from Alpine. After falling yesterday in Q1, the Asturian managed to finish 12th due to the number of sanctions (5) among the pilots who have changed the power unit in Mexico. And after a lackluster snatch, you’ve got come back to ninth position, to conclude in the points zone and again ahead of his teammate Esteban Ocon.

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Brazil, next stop

With Verstappen’s second consecutive victory (third in Mexico for him), this time ahead of Hamilton and Pérez, the exciting pulse between the Red Bull Dutch and the Mercedes Briton will arrive more unbalanced at the circuit of Interlagos, which next week will host the Brazilian Grand Prix with ‘Mad Max’ full of morale and consolidated at the top of the classification, now with 19 rental points.

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