The 2017 and 2018 Mexican Grand Prix have the same headline: Max Verstappen wins the race as Lewis Hamilton becomes World Drivers’ Champion. While Verstappen recorded his second win of the season, Hamilton clinched the 5th world championship in his career. Starting third in the race and dropping to fourth, Hamilton still scored enough points to end Sebastian Vettel’s challenge for the drivers’ championship. Verstappen went from second to first, overtaking his teammate Daniel Ricciardo on lap one.
Max Verstappen Wins Second Race Of The Season
On the opening lap many cars were packed together going into the first turn. Ricciardo dropped to third after Hamilton and Verstappen both passed him. In the next few laps, Verstappen extended his lead by a few seconds. Fernando Alonso retired from the race on lap four after being caught in the crossfire of debris. The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed for 2 laps.
First Half of The Race
A flurry of pit stops happened from lap 9 to 19. By the time everyone had pitted Verstappen was still in first, 8 seconds ahead of Hamilton. On lap 31, Carlos Sainz stopped his car. Renault said on Twitter that Carlos said the car shut down. Only ten laps later, Mexico’s Sergio Perez retired as well with car issues. He was losing many positions, going off track many times before making it to the pits.
The Good and Bad That Came For Ricciardo
Hamilton was fending off Ricciardo for quite some time, but couldn’t anymore on lap 47 when he went off track due to a lock up. This let Ricciardo go up to third place. Coincidentally Valtteri Bottas locked up in the same turn moments later, letting Raikkonen pass him.
Daniel Ricciardo’s 2018 string of back luck continued when he had to forfeit his second place position due to car issues. On lap 62, he pulled over and retired from the race. VSC was deployed once again for a short period of time.
When going back to green not much had changed. Pierre Gasly made a few more passes in the back half of the pack, finishing 10th in the race, gaining 10 positions from lap 1. Once Hamilton had clincged his Championship he did a couple of donuts in the stadium section of the track. One week after being Driver of The Day in the United States, Verstappen sprayed champagne from the top step of the podium in Mexico. In a less ceremonious fashion, Hamilton celebrated with his team in the garage.
Mexican GP Race Results:
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||2||25|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+1 LAP||3||10|
|6||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+2 LAPS||1||8|
|7||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber||+2 LAPS||1||6|
|8||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||+2 LAPS||1||4|
|9||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||+2 LAPS||1||2|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||+2 LAPS||2||1|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||+2 LAPS||2|
|12||18||Lance Stroll||Williams||+2 LAPS||2|
|13||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams||+2 LAPS||1|
|14||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||+2 LAPS||2|
|15||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+2 LAPS||1|
|16||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+3 LAPS||2|
|17||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||OUT||1|
|18||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||OUT||2|
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