Lewis Hamilton becomes a 5-time world champion in Mexico, the same location where he celebrated last year's title victory. The Briton crossed the line in P4, behind the two Ferraris and race winner Max Verstappen. Daniel Ricciardo went from hero to zero, from pole to an uproarious DNF.
Daniel Ricciardo’s start did not turn out to be ideal, as he lost the lead from Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who went full attack. Valtteri Bottas was very aggressive as well, getting the draft on Vettel and challenging the front runners. However, during the first lap the Finn was overtaken back by Vettel, who reclaimed 4th, his starting position.
All race-ending crashes have been avoided safely, but VSC was deployed, as Fernando Alonso retired. Smoke came out of the McLaren, but more damage from Ocon’s Force India debris lodged in the sidepod might have been fatal for the Spaniard.
Lewis Hamilton started struggling with front graining, with Red Bull showcasing its superb tyre management against Ferrari and Mercedes. The Briton, as well as Bottas, pitted at the beginning of the 12th lap to go on SuperSofts. Verstappen headed back to the pits one lap later and managed to exit ahead of Hamilton.
On lap 17 Vettel switched to SS to rejoin the track in 4th; his fresher tyres allowed him to chase down Ricciardo and challenge him for 3rd. Carlos Sainz stopped at turn 13 in the stadium section, causing the second VSC of the race, which lasted 2 laps. As the race resumed, Vettel prepared his overtake on Ricciardo and managed to get close enough to make his DRS work effectively. Therefore, the German virtually claimed a podium finish halfway through the race.
He later caught Hamilton, who was staggering and struggling due to the heavy graining on his SS tyres. In spite of having graining on his own tyres as well, Vettel managed to overtake Hamilton for P2 and started recovering tenth after tenth on Verstappen.
Hamilton’s pace plunged dramatically and Ricciardo charged to third, as the Briton could no longer keep the car on track. All in for Sebastian Vettel, who went in for his 2nd pit stop during the 48th lap. Hamilton, who only had a used set of US, pitted as well but was not in for any ambitious targets.
Vettel closed the gap on Ricciardo once again, but the Australian promptly reacted and clocked the fastest lap of the race. His strenuous resistance did not last long due to his Renault engine, whose failure forced him to retire. The third VSC was called and Bottas grabbed the moment to revert back to HS tyres. Owing to Ricciardo’s DNF, Kimi Raikkonen moved up to third and Hamilton to fourth.
Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the rest in P6, ahead of a phenomenal Charles Leclerc in 7th. Stoffel Vandoorne finished his best race of the year in P8, ahead of Ericsson and Honda-powered Gasly.