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Max Verstappen wins in Mexico, extends lead in F1 title chase

3 min read

Red Bull earned itself one heck of a Formula One fiesta.
Max Verstappen gained the Mexico City Grand Prix with a dominant race Sunday to stretch his season championship lead over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Teammate Sergio Perez was the primary Mexican driver in race historical past to not simply lead the race, but additionally to earn a podium when he completed third.
And the end result pulled Red Bull almost even with Mercedes in a crew championship price thousands and thousands of {dollars} on the finish of season.
While Verstappen and Perez basked within the chants of “Ole! Ole!” from the huge crowd in the course of the podium ceremony and Perez’s father wildly waved the Mexican flag, Hamilton may solely watch and pay attention.
He needed to know he’s working out of time and races to catch Verstappen in pursuit of a file eighth F1 season title.
Verstappen now leads Hamilton within the championship by 19 factors with 4 races left, beginning subsequent week in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Verstappen gained in 2019 and certain can be favored to once more.
The two have traded the lead a number of occasions this season, and even crashed into one another twice, in F1’s tightest title chase in years.
“Today with their superior speed, if they work to carry that into the next ones, we may be in trouble, or we will be in trouble,” Hamilton stated.
Verstappen actually isn’t taking something with no consideration. The 24-year-old Dutchman is chasing his first F1 championship and earned his ninth win of the season, his second in a row and third in Mexico City in 4 years.
“I don’t believe in momentum,” Verstappen stated. “Every single race we have to nail the details. … Its going to be really tight and exciting through to the end.”
Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas pulled an enormous shock in qualifying when the Mercedes vehicles earned their first front-row lockout of the season. Bottas was on pole to start out, Hamilton second and Verstappen and Perez in third and fourth.
Their benefit final just a few seconds.
Verstappen bolted off his line and used the slip stream behind Bottas on the lengthy beginning straighaway to grab the lead by the primary nook. Bottas obtained tapped by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and his automotive spun, dropping him to the again.
That left Hamilton in a Red Bull sandwich: Verstappen in entrance and Perez proper behind, with Bottas not in play to assist him defend his place.
“I went from third to first and it basically made my race,” Verstappen stated.
Even if Mercedes had held place early, Hamilton possible wouldn’t been in a position to maintain on to win. He had advised Saturday the Red Bull vehicles can be too quick to disclaim over a protracted race.
The go simply occurred rather a lot sooner than anybody at Mercedes would have favored. Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff was irritated after the race that Verstappen was in a position to make the transfer so simply. And by getting knocked to the again, Bottas completed fifteenth.
Mercedes now leads Red Bull by only one level within the crew constructor’s championship.
“We had two cars in front and seemed to open up the sea for Max to come around the outside,” Wolff advised Sky Sports F1. “And even so, even with the spin afterwards (and) a complete loss of points, it could have been a third or fourth place. It is annoying to say the least.”
Verstappen was quickly zooming off into the space. That left Hamilton enjoying protection towards Perez in a determined bid to carry on to essential championship factors wanted to maintain Verstappen within reach within the title struggle.
The house crowd roared when Perez briefly led after Hamilton and Verstappen pitted for brand new tires. He pulled inside placing distance of Hamilton within the remaining laps however couldn’t make the ultimate transfer to go him for second. Perez as an alternative settled for a 3rd straight podium end for the primary time in his profession.
“Now it’s time for some tequila!” Perez advised his crew on the end.
“Being on the podium in your home grand prix is something very, very special,” Perez stated. “Today, I wanted more. I wanted to win the race … At the end of the day, we are so competitive, we finish third (and) we really don’t enjoy. Today is one of those days that I must enjoy.”