Verstappen has amazing start, gets 3rd Mexican GP win from Hamilton and home hero Perez

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas had his race compromised at the start when he was hit by Daniel Ricciardo

By Yuri Coghe
Verstappen now holds a 19-point lead in the driver’s championship with four races to go (Photo: F1/Twitter)

Max Verstappen started the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday in third place and completed the first turn at the lead.

The Red Bull star then proceeded to win his ninth race of the season and third in a row at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

The 24-year-old Dutchman put on a masterful move to overtake the Mercedes of his championship rival Lewis Hamilton and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas at the start.

As a result of his 19th career victory and third one in Mexico for most all-time wins in the circuit, Verstappen now holds a 19-point lead in the driver’s championship with four races to go.

Hamilton finished second and 16s5 behind Verstappen, unable to challenge for the lead for the whole race. “These guys are obviously too fast for us,” the seven-time world champion said on team radio at one point.

Bottas was hit by Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren at the start and fell back to P18, eventually finishing in 15th after struggling to overtake the same Ricciardo and having to endure slow pit stops.

The Australian driver lost his front wing in the accident with the Mercedes man and also ended up with no points, in 12th.

The Finn posted the fastest lap of the race – a track record – in the very last lap to take the extra point awarded for the honour away from Verstappen. But Bottas didn’t keep it himself either since he finished outside of the top10.

Home hero makes it to the podium

But it was Sergio Perez’s Sunday as much as it Verstappen’s.

The 31-year-old Guadalajara-native became the first Mexican driver to lead the Mexican GP, during his P1 stint that lasted from lap 33 to 41 after Verstappen and Hamilton pitted for fresh tires. He also became the first home driver to achieve a top3 finish in the event for his 15th career podium.

Perez spent many laps trying to overtake Hamilton for second late in the race and offer Red Bull their first 1-2 of the season. But cutting through a 10-second gap wasn’t enough as the Briton managed to hold on to his position.

“Checo’s” third podium in a row adds to his late-season momentum that helped Red Bull be only one point behind Mercedes in the constructors’ standings. The driver has also placed himself in a position to finish ahead of Bottas for third in the championship. The distance between the drivers is at 20 points at the moment.

Perez won the 2020 Sakhir GP and the 2021 Azerbaijan GP. Him and Pedro Rodríguez, one of the brothers the Mexico City circuit is named after, are the only Mexican drivers to win in F1.

Rodríguez, who died at 31 driving an Interserie Ferrari sports car in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1971, also has two F1 career victories.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly finished in the top4 for the fourth time this season in an incredible display. The Frenchman also has a P5 and three P6s in 2021 and is responsible for 86 of his team’s 106 points.

Tremendous weekend for Ferrari

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. took their Ferraris to the fifth and sixth places, respectively. The result felt even better for the Italian outfit as McLaren was only able to get a single point with Lando Norris, who finished tenth.

Team orders came into play between Leclerc and Sainz to keep the fastest car ahead.

Ferrari has moved ahead of McLaren in the battle for third in the constructors’ standings with a 13-point gap.

Champions on the points

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel took his Aston Martin to seventh, two positions ahead of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and his Alpine.

In the middle of them, 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen finished eighth to tie his best result of the season, achieved in Russia, and get a fourth point-finish in 2021. It could end up being his last in his long-lived and legendary career since the 42-year-old Alfa Romeo driver is retiring at the end of the season.

Raikkonen enjoyed a beautiful move on George Russell on lap 9, a lap before Alonso did the same. Russell, who will drive for Mercedes in 2022, finished the race in P16.

Satefy car deployed early

Haas’ Mick Schumacher and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda retired from the race in the first lap, getting caught up in a collision at the start.

The incident caused a safety car to be deployed.

Canadian drivers Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi finished in P14 and P17, respectively.

Stroll had an engine-related grid penalty to serve and started the race from the back of the grid.

Latifi was overtaken by Raikkonen in the standings, as the Finn made it to 10 points while the Canadian has seven to his name.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, P11, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, P13, and Haas’ Nikita Mazepin, P18, also finished outside the points.

Up next

F1 goes to São Paulo, Brazil, next weekend (Nov. 12-14) for the second part of a triple-header that ends with the first-ever Qatar GP in Doha on the Nov. 19-21 weekend.

Just like the last two races in Mexico and the U.S., the Brazilian race got cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And just like the British and Italian GPs weekends in 2020, the sprint-qualifying system will be tested in São Paulo.

See the full Mexican GP results below:

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One thought on “Verstappen has amazing start, gets 3rd Mexican GP win from Hamilton and home hero Perez

  • November 7, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Texto impecavel, rico de informacao e fazendo um retrato da corrida. Foi uma largada realmente excepcional, me fazendo lewmbrar do grande Ayrton. Perez mais uma vez prova ser um bom piloto, respondendo quando exigido pela equipe.A ferrari, aos poucos, voltando a ocupar seu lugar atualmente, atras da red bull e mercedes. Bom ver vettel, raikonen e alonso pontuando. Alem da alegria dos pilotos da red bull foi contagiante a comemoracao do pai do Perez. Com certeza teremos um final de temporada emocionante. Esta é a formula 1 que todos querem ver. Parabens a toda equipe pelo site e pelo texto. Ja estou no Brasil aguardando as proximas emoções, inclusive mais uma vez com a mini corrida classificatoria no sabado.

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