Verstappen wins in Mexico City to stretch F1 lead

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrated a dominating victory in the Mexico City Grand Prix on Sunday to overtake Lewis Hamilton with 19 points in the Formula One championship with four races remaining.


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Seven-time world champion Hamilton was second to Mercedes, keeping Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez at bay, who became the first Mexican to take the podium at home at a lively Hermanos Rodríguez Autodromo.

Red Bull closed the gap with champion Mercedes in the constructors’ standings to one point.

“There is still a long way to go, but of course it looks good, but it can also change very quickly,” 24-year-old Verstappen said of his big step forward in the championship battle.

Verstappen took the checkered flag 16.555 seconds behind Hamilton to seal his ninth victory of the season, the third in Mexico and the 19th of his career.

The Dutchman took the lead in the first corner from third on the grid, going in three head-ons with the two Mercedes and timing his braking to perfection, in what turned out to be the defining moment of the race.


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“I kept it on the track, I went from third to first and that was basically what my career did because I could focus on myself and we had an incredible pace in the car,” he said.

Verstappen then did not give Hamilton a chance to strike back once the safety car, deployed after collisions further back, was out of the way.

Hamilton, the most successful driver of all time with 100 career wins, said he gave it his all after being closely pursued by Perez in the final 10 laps.

“I feel like I maxed it out with what I have,” said the Brit.

“We have four races left and we have to keep pushing.”


Pérez was hoisted on the shoulders of his mechanics as he waved the Mexican flag to salute the crowd before the podium ceremony.


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“Of course I wanted more, I wanted to get a double for the team, but I didn’t get a single chance to pass,” he said after his third consecutive podium after third places in Texas and Turkey.

“If I had had a small chance, I would have bet it,” added the 31-year-old, who also became the first Mexican to lead the home race after Verstappen and Hamilton pitted.

The safety car was deployed until lap four after a start collision between Haas’s Mick Schumacher and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, while McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo touched the rear of Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes and lost his front wing.

Bottas, who had achieved a surprise pole position on Saturday, turned around and fell to 18th after an immediate pit stop.


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The Finn finished in 15th place, but looked for new tires to snatch the fastest lap from Verstappen at the end, denying the Dutch a precious bonus point without it reaching Mercedes as it was out of the top 10.

“Red Bull is to be congratulated because the pace was on another level,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. “I don’t think we would have been able to win the race even if we had stayed ahead at the first corner.”

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AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was fourth with Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fifth and sixth to lift the Italian team ahead of McLaren and into third place in the constructors’ standings.

Sebastian Vettel was seventh for Aston Martin, with fellow champions Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso eighth and ninth for Alfa Romeo and Alpine respectively. Lando Norris took the final point for McLaren.



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