Mexico GP: Max Verstappen moves away from Lewis Hamilton for a record 14th victory of the 2022 season


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Mexico Grand Prix highlights from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Mexico Grand Prix highlights from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Max Verstappen took a record 14th win of his extraordinary 2022 season after comfortably taking on the challenge from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at the Mexico City GP.

The race, although billed as Mercedes’ biggest chance of the season to break its duck, was instead dominated by the two-time world champion, who resisted the silver arrows at the start and then, characteristically, crashed. ran away.

Hamilton edged team-mate George Russell on that first lap, but it was as good as it gets for a driver who now looks unlikely to extend his winning record in each of his Formula 1 seasons, with Mercedes hopefuls de Red Bull’s tires fade in the end unsuccessful.

“I’m not sure we got the right tire at the end,” Hamilton said, as Mercedes’ challenge drifted away on the hards.

Verstappen, however, has a new record after winning by 15 seconds.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen stayed ahead on the opening lap of the Mexico City Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton passed Mercedes teammate George Russell for second place.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen stayed ahead on the opening lap of the Mexico City Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton passed Mercedes teammate George Russell for second place.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen stayed ahead on the opening lap of the Mexico City Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton passed Mercedes teammate George Russell for second place.

He is the first driver to win 14 races in a season, breaking a tie with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.

There are still two races left in 2022, in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Sergio Perez, who was the first of the lead riders to stop, managed to extend his stint and claim his second podium in front of a passionate Mexican crowd, ahead of Russell.

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo drove in Yuki Tsunoda, with the AlphaTauri driver forced to retire from the Mexico City Grand Prix as a result

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McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drove in Yuki Tsunoda, with the AlphaTauri driver forced to retire from the Mexico City Grand Prix as a result

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drove in Yuki Tsunoda, with the AlphaTauri driver forced to retire from the Mexico City Grand Prix as a result

Russell, like Hamilton, floundered on the hard tire but managed to claim a fastest lap bonus point after stopping at the end.

The fact that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were out of Russell’s reach despite his second stop speaks volumes for Ferrari’s pace, with the Scuderia trailing their rivals in fifth and sixth.

Daniel Ricciardo, however, played. The Aussie extended his first stint and ran on softs in the closing stages, going back years with pass after pass and enough pace to overturn his 10-second penalty for a clumsy collision with Yuki Tsunoda, one of the only real racing flashpoints.

Fernando Alonso was forced to retire in Mexico City after suffering engine failure in his Alpine on lap 65

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Fernando Alonso was forced to retire in Mexico City after suffering engine failure in his Alpine on lap 65

Fernando Alonso was forced to retire in Mexico City after suffering engine failure in his Alpine on lap 65

Ricciardo, who is expected to leave the grid in 2023 after his McLaren contract was cancelled, was voted driver of the day for his efforts.

Esteban Ocon finished eighth for Alpine, although team-mate Fernando Alonso had a frustrating late retirement which cost his team crucial points in the fight against McLaren.

Mexico Grand Prix: race result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
4) George Russell, Mercedes
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
6) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
7) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
8) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
9) Lando Norris, McLaren
10) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

Mercedes no match for mighty Max in Mexico

Verstappen’s 14th win of the season was one of his most dominant as, in a race of attrition, Mercedes could not deliver on Saturday’s promise to consistently challenge Red Bull.

The start was always going to be key on a track where, despite the long straight, overtaking is difficult, and Verstappen, who started on the softs and Mercedes on the mediums, seemed to get the better of all the front four and avoid early towing.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen cruised to victory in Mexico, taking a record 14th victory of the season.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen cruised to victory in Mexico, taking a record 14th victory of the season.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen cruised to victory in Mexico, taking a record 14th victory of the season.

Russell also pulled well away from the front row, but trying to make a move on Verstappen on the outside in the first corner he lost to Hamilton in the next chicane, the seven-time world champion forcing his Mercedes driver to get off the track.

This left the door open for Perez, who happily seized the opportunity.

Most drivers win in an F1 season

Driver Season Won
Max Verstappen 2022 14
Michael Schumacher 2004 13
Sebastian Vettel 2013 13
Michael Schumacher 2002 11
Sebastian Vettel 2011 11
Lewis Hamilton 2014 11
Lewis Hamilton 2018 11
Lewis Hamilton 2019 11
Lewis Hamilton 2020 11

Hamilton hooked up with Verstappen in the early stages to hint at a Mercedes battle against Red Bull, staying within two seconds before the world champion was the first to stop on lap 26 for medium tyres, hinting at a two-stop strategy.

Hamilton then came on five laps later for the hard tyre, hinting at a single stop.

But that’s ultimately where Mercedes’ race went. Red Bull, with great tire management, had much better pace on the mediums and managed to stretch them all the way. Hamilton and Russell, on the other hand, were both regular critics of the hard tire but by this stage Mercedes were already set on their plan and couldn’t really deviate.

Daniel Ricciardo finally completed the overtake of Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu, while Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly collided on the same straight.

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Daniel Ricciardo finally completed the overtake of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, while Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly collided on the same straight.

Daniel Ricciardo finally completed the overtake of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, while Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly collided on the same straight.

“In hindsight, it was not the right choice,” admitted team boss Toto Wolff.

Verstappen eventually won by 15 seconds, while the only bright spot for Hamilton was holding off a charge from Perez, who might have been able to beat the Merc if not for a slow pit stop, which set him back. originally dropped behind the Ferraris.

Other big talking points from the race were a few collisions and penalties.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly came off the track as the duo battled for 15th place in Mexico.

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Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly came off the track as the duo battled for 15th place in Mexico.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly came off the track as the duo battled for 15th place in Mexico.

Pierre Gasly pushed Lance Stroll early in the race trying to overtake and was given a five-second penalty, while a worse mistake came from Ricciardo as he hit Tsunoda and finished his race.

Ricciardo, however, still managed to claim “the best of the rest” in seventh position.




Sky Sports

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