F1 | Mexico GP | Race Report: Max Verstappen breaks most wins in a season record ahead of Hamilton and Perez
The Sutch driver dominated the 71 race laps from the start, while most of the action and overtakes happened at the back of the grid.
Championship winner Max Verstappen achieves the ninth win in a row for Red Bul and a record breaking fourteenth seasonal win, improving the previous record jointly held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, ahead of an impressive Lewis Hamilton battling with engine power cuts throughout race and qualifying.
The last podium position goes to home hero Sergio Perez, whereas Geroge Russell takes the added point for fastest lap in 1:20.153.
Ricciardo manages to hold on his P7 in spite of a 10s time penalty for a collision with Tsunoda, with the Ferraris barely ahead of him.
The points scorers in Mexico City 👀#MexicoGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/xJFaLXCrf8— Formula 1 (@F1) October 30, 2022
Lance Stroll had a three grid places penalty for causing a collision with Fernando Alonso last time out in Austin, ending up in P20. Kevin Magnussen has taken up a five places grid penalty for taking up new engine components, and will be strating from P19.
Mixed tyre strategies at the front, with the Ferraris and the Red Bulls on softs opposing the Mercedes drivers on mediums.
At the start, Hamilton almost completed the two moves he needed to get in the lead, but ultimately had to surrender to the Dutch's speed and stick to his P2, while Perez managed to overtake Russell for P2 and Sainz stays ahead after the first tussels with his teammate Leclerc. Bottas and Norris both lost positions at the start, dropping back to P8 and P10 respectively, whereas Stroll made up 5 positions at the back of the grid.
After the first four laps, Verstappen has a solid 1.5s gap to Hamilton in P2, while Bottas was battling aginst the Alpines. At the back of the grid, Magnussen, who had suffered from a suspected gearbox issue just before the race start in spite of taking up a new power unit after Pietro Fittipaldi's issue during FP1, has dropped to P20.
At the front, the championship winner signed off an impressive streak of 1:23s ,laps in a row, while Ricciardo completes a move on Zhou for P12.
On Lap 14, Gasly overtakes Stroll for P15 but drifts off the tracks, guiding the Canadian driver out as well. The latter remerged rather upset with the move, promptly investigated by race direction. He ended up getting a 5s time penalty.
Hamilton signed two fastest laps in a row around 1:23.004, but it’s is Verstappen the first driver to break the 1:22s wall on Lap 16. The Ferrari aren't impressing today, with Sainz struggling in P4 ten seconds behind Russell and Leclerc four seconds behind him.
After the first 20 laps, Verstappen began having tyre degradation issue on the used softs he had mounted for the race start, while on Lap 24 Sergio Perez pitted but suffered of a slower 5s pit stop. Perez reentered the track in P6, and completed the move on Leclerc for P5 on Lap 27.
On the next lap it's Verstappen's turn to stop, while sporting a 22kt gold plated helmet to celebrate his second title, putting on mediums just like his teammate. Nicholas Latifi, on the other hand, is the first driver to go for hards.
Both drivers fighting for the win mention issues, with Verstappen complaining about his shift just like during FP1 and Hamilton about engine cuts.
Leclerc and Hamilton take advantage of their fast pits to change compound, whereas there were issues with the front right tyre during Sainz's pit. This leaves Russell in the lead, who started the Mexico GP on mediums and would wish to extend his stint as much as possible in order to go on the softs.
He is, however, stopped on Lap 35 for hards. Sebastian Vettel waited instead for Lap 39 to swap his softs, leaving only Zhou, Ricciardo, Alonso and Bottas yet to stop, with the last two going out on the 40th.
The latter was also involved in a tight battle with Ocon for the final point position. Verstappen looks stble in the lead with a 9.5s gap to Hamilton, who is instead not at ease with his hards just like his teammate Russell.
On Lap 46 Zhou, still yet to stop, is overtaken at the same time by both his teammate Bottas and Ocon, whereas Ricciardo pitted for softs.
Later on, he made contact with Yuki Tsunoda while trying to pass him at Turn 6, sending him off the grass lacking a great part of the floor. The Alphatauri driver crawls back to the pits, where his front wing is changed, but heis ultimately forced out of the race.
Ricciardo ultimately got a 10 seconds time penalty for the collision, but has reached the top ten in the meantime, passing both Norris and Bottas, while Zhou overtakes Vettel for P14.
Alonso, suffering from an engine issue, is overtaken by his teammate and by Ricciardo as well, who made his way up to an impressive P7 in spite of his penalty. He is forced to stop on Lap 65, issuing out a VSC
Russell is the only one to push for a pit also mentioning a possible puncture after driving over a debris left on track by Alonso. In the end, he pits after racing is resumed on Lap 69 for softs to try and go for the fastest lap point.
Verstappen crusied home to win from Hamilton, Perez, Russell, Sainz, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Ocon, Norris and Bottas.