Mexico City GP: Max Verstappen takes runaway victory ahead of Lewis Hamilton to grow F1 title lead

Mercedes’ front-row wall proves no deterrent for Max Verstappen, who surged into the lead on lap one and then ran away with the race; Lewis Hamilton races well to second and stay ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, who still sends Mexican crowd wild with first home driver podium

Last Updated: 07/11/21 9:11pm


Relive how Red Bull's Max Verstappen took the lead of the Mexico City GP, with Valtteri Bottas sent spinning back from pole

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Relive how Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took the lead of the Mexico City GP, with Valtteri Bottas sent spinning back from pole

Relive how Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took the lead of the Mexico City GP, with Valtteri Bottas sent spinning back from pole

Max Verstappen secured a dominant win in the Mexico City GP to take a potentially significant victory in his quest to end Lewis Hamilton’s reign as world champion, opening his title lead to 19 points with four races to go.

Hamilton just held off Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s team-mate, for second place against a clearly-faster race car but first and third still represented a big comeback result for Red Bull after they were surprisingly outqualified by Mercedes on Saturday.

Verstappen made light work of the Valtteri Bottas-Hamilton front row by strongly slipstreaming past both on the outside at the start, decisively claiming a lead he never relinquished outside of the pit stops.

He won by 16.5s for a record third victory in Mexico and a ninth win of a 2021 season where the momentum increasingly looks to be with the 24-year-old Dutchman and Red Bull.

“You just have to congratulate Red Bull because their pace was on another level,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to Sky F1. “In the end for Lewis’ championship, it was damage limitation.”

Hamilton said: “Congratulations to Max, their car is far superior this weekend and there was nothing we could really do about it.”

A closer look at a dramatic start to the Mexico City Grand Prix as Max Verstappen overtook both Mercedes drivers

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A closer look at a dramatic start to the Mexico City Grand Prix as Max Verstappen overtook both Mercedes drivers

A closer look at a dramatic start to the Mexico City Grand Prix as Max Verstappen overtook both Mercedes drivers

To compound first-lap matters for Mercedes, polesitter Bottas was spun around into the first corner by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo which dropped him to the back of the field.

A later pit-stop delay dropped him out of points contention, although one solace for Mercedes eventually was that the position at least allowed them to complete an inconsequential late pit-stop to take the fastest lap bonus point away from Verstappen.

Perez ran longer than Hamilton before his sole pit stop but could not quite make his tyre advantage count to secure Red Bull a one-two. Nonetheless, to the absolute delight of the huge local crowd, he becomes the first Mexican to finish on the podium at his home event in the 21 editions of the race.

Red Bull’s bumper points haul also re-energised their hopes in the Constructors’ Championship too: they now trail Mercedes by a single point with races in Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to come in the next five weeks.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly took a brilliant fourth ahead of the Ferraris, who briefly switched their drivers late on to try and put pressure on the Frenchman to no avail. They then reversed the order back, meaning Charles Leclerc took fifth ahead of Carlos Sainz.

However, it was still a good day for the Scuderia as with McLaren scoring only one point with Lando Norris, who raced back well from a penalised 18th on the grid, the Italian team reclaim third in the Constructors’ Championship.

More to follow…

Mexico City GP Result: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
4) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
5) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
7) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
8) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
9) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
10) Lando Norris, McLaren

Full race result

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