Mexico GP: Verstappen storms to victory as Hamilton holds off Perez

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Max Verstappen made up for the disappointment of qualifying with a commanding win at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver took the lead into Turn 1 from third and never looked back as he became the first three-time winner at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Instead, the big battle was for second between Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, with the seven-time world champion narrowly holding on in the closing laps.

Race Review

An action-packed start saw Verstappen get alongside the two Mercedes' and simply out-braked them into Turn 1 to take the lead.

Polesitter Valtteri Bottas was then tagged by Daniel Ricciardo, sending the Finn into a spin and knocking off the McLaren's front nose.

In the fallout, Esteban Ocon was sandwiched between Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher, breaking both their rear suspensions but the Alpine was able to continue.

A Safety Car was called to clear the stricken cars. At the restart, Verstappen comfortably held the lead and began to pull away from Hamilton in second.

Perez ran third, keeping the Mercedes very much in his sights. That triggered Lewis to be the first of the leaders to stop for hard tyres.

The earlier stop proved beneficial as the Briton was able to open up a margin but Checo's famed tyre management skills enabled him to run longer.

Behind, Pierre Gasly kept the Ferraris at bay in fourth, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen seventh and eighth when the pit-stops shook out.

Starting lower down, Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris made strong gains by running long in their first stint to claim inside the top 10

After their Lap 1 contact, Ricciardo held Bottas behind before Valtteri's race was further compromised by a slow second pit-stop.

In the fight for second, Perez would go 11 laps longer than Hamilton before pitting and had nine seconds to make up in the run to the finish.

But the Mexican would enjoy a half-to-one second advantage over the Mercedes per lap as he put his fresher tyres to good use.

Checo would get within DRS range of Lewis for two laps but wasn't able to challenge with traffic putting the Red Bull two seconds back.

Perez regrouped and had one last charge in the final laps but it wasn't quite enough as Hamilton held on to second.

But out front, Verstappen was simply dominant as he claimed his third win at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in four years.

Bottas though would deny the Dutchman the extra point for fastest lap on the final lap.

Gasly secured fourth for AlphaTauri as Ferrari had no answer to the Frenchman, even using a team order for Charles Leclerc to let Carlos Sainz by which was later reversed.

It was still a good day in the Constructors' for the Scuderia though as they jumped McLaren into third.

Vettel took seventh with Raikkonen eighth, gaining Alfa Romeo's first points since Sochi. Alonso was ninth and Norris completed the points finishers in 10th.

A ninth win of the year sees Verstappen move 19 points clear of Hamilton in the championship, next stop Interlagos for the final Sprint weekend of the season.

Full results from Sunday can be seen below: