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Mexico GP: Verstappen victorious as Hamilton takes title No.5

Written by  Oct 28, 2018

 

Max Verstappen made it back-to-back wins in Mexico City as he dominated the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Dutchman capitalised on a poor start for teammate Daniel Ricciardo to lead Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 and in a race dominated by tyres, Max was untouchable going on to take the chequered flag by 17 seconds.

Hamilton ran second in the opening laps after also getting ahead of the Australian with Sebastian Vettel completing the top four.

There was drama behind though, with Nico Hulkenberg damaging Esteban Ocon's front wing through the opening sequence of corners and the debris would hit Fernando Alonso's McLaren, leading to the Spaniard's retirement five laps later.

The positions at the front would be unchanged but the anticipated high tyre degradation would soon hit with the front tyres graining heavily on Hamilton's car causing him to stop first on Lap 12 and creating a chain reaction.

Ferrari would wait a few extra laps before switching to the Supersoft compound but found good pace as Vettel caught and passed Ricciardo into Turn 1 for P3, after the Red Bull had been caught up in traffic.

He would then do the same to Hamilton on the main straight, with the Briton again complaining of graining and a general lack of performance.

That would allow Ricciardo to close back in for third and get ahead of the Mercedes as Hamilton locked up and ran across the grass at Turn 1, soon pitting for the second time for Ultrasofts.

Verstappen and Vettel would also pit again but Red Bull kept Ricciardo out and the plan seemed to work with the 'Honey Badger' holding off his former teammate and one point actually setting a new fastest lap despite his much older rubber.

His reliability jinx would hit once again, however, as he became the third Renault-powered car to retire, after Carlos Sainz had joined Alonso earlier in the race, making it back-to-back DNF's and his eighth in 2018 alone.

Obviously, that led to concern on Verstappen's car but the power unit would be turned down and Vettel was no threat in second and Kimi Raikkonen drove a lonely race to claim third.

Attention then turned to Hamilton in fourth, a position that was more than enough to see him clinch a fifth F1 title and join Juan Manuel Fangio in second on the all-time list.

Valtteri Bottas would finish a lap down on Verstappen in fifth, highlighting the pace the Red Bull had.

Hulkenberg ensured Renault secured the top midfield position for the second straight weekend in sixth as Force India's threat faded with Sergio Perez retiring from his home Grand Prix with a mechanical problem and Ocon could only finish 11th.

Charles Leclerc took seventh for Sauber with Stoffel Vandoorne enjoying his first points since Baku in eighth for McLaren as Marcus Ericsson and Pierre Gasly, despite starting at the back in his Toro Rosso, completed the top 10.

The two Williams' of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin were 12th and 13th ahead of Brendon Hartley as the two Haas cars completed the finishers with Kevin Magnussen 15th and Romain Grosjean 16th.

Full results from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez can be seen below:

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