Mercedes displayed a superior pace in the Mexican GP, with Lewis Hamilton winning the race and his team-mate Valterri Bottas ending in P3, after starting from the sixth position. The result, marking the 100th victory for Mercedes Benz in the Formula One, was not expected, as the W10 struggled during the Free Practices and the Qualifying session particularly in the first sector due to the high-drag aerodynamics.
Lewis Hamilton, who obtained his 83rd victory in Formula 1, underlined that the win was a surprise.
"Today was a surprise, we’ve really struggled here for quite some time and we came into this weekend expecting it to be very difficult.
“We really thought we would be on the back foot, but we kept our heads down, we kept working hard and it all came together in the end.”
The six-time Formula 1 World Champions continued pointing out the difficulties he had in the start, when he hit Verstappen. Hamilton claimed that the accident damaged his W10, constraining him to change his driving given the reduced downforce.
“I had a crazy first couple of corners today, I was pushed on the grass at the start and then Max hit me.
“It was not easy to recover from that afterward – I had a massive chunk of my floor missing, so the rear end was moving a lot and I had to really change the dynamic of how I was driving.
“I don’t know how I managed to keep it going, but I did.”
Hamilton concluded praising again his team, managing to find the winning strategy with an anticipated first pit-stop.
“The guys also did a fantastic job with the strategy – we stopped pretty early, and honestly I thought it might have been too early, but it all worked out in the end.
“I really wanted to deliver for the fans today; they were all out there during the drivers’ parade supporting me, so I really wanted to give them a good performance and I’m so grateful we won."
Similarly, Valterri Bottas, remarked how the team was able to maximise the performance, being able to beat Red Bull and Ferrari, with a great race strategy.
"Today was a very good day, especially considering the circumstances – the shape of my car after the crash yesterday and the fact that I started P6. I had a difficult start, but after that, I had a very strong race.
“I looked after the tyres and managed to extend the first stint quite a bit, which opened up a few opportunities. I was trying to put some pressure on Sebastian, but ultimately, I don’t think the margin between him and me was enough to overtake.
“We maximised our result and the entire team delivered today – from the mechanics fixing my car to the strategists coming up with a great plan for the race –everyone did a really good job.
“Yesterday, both Red Bull and Ferrari had the upper hand, but we’ve really been strong on Sundays this year and ultimately that’s the day that matters. “