Max Verstappen wins Mexico GP to extend 2021 F1 title lead


Max Verstappen cruised to victory at the Mexico City GP to further consolidate his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton. Sergio Perez came in third, becoming the first ever Mexican driver to finish on the podium on home soil.

  • Verstappen jumps both Mercedes drivers at the start
  • Leads championship by 19 points

Verstappen gains ground

Mercedes’ strong showing in qualifying didn’t translate into a victory, with Verstappen sweeping around the outside of both Mercedes drivers into the first corner. Bottas was relegated to the very back of the pack after being spun around by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Out at front, Verstappen displayed strong pace, and it wasn’t long before he put a sizeable gap between Hamilton and himself. It soon became clear that rather than fighting for victory, Hamilton’s real battle would be with Perez for second place.

Verstappen went on to take a comfortable win – his ninth one this season – having not put a foot wrong during the whole race. Despite his recent string of wins, the Red Bull Racing driver is aware that even a small mistake could change the course of the championship. "It's a long way to go [in the championship], but it's of course looking good. But also it can turn around very quickly. I'm looking forward to Brazil, I also have good memories there,” he said.

Hamilton fends off Perez

After the pit stops, Perez made use of his fresher tyres (which were 11 laps newer than Hamilton’s) to steadily close the gap. By lap 60 of 71, this gap was down to just one second, and to make matters worse for Hamilton, Mercedes asked him to lift and coast to help with cooling. However, the Briton was able to fend off a charging Perez to hold on to second place.

Pierre Gasly finished fourth, having gained a place after Bottas’ earlier spin. He was followed by the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen took seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Fernando Alonso finished ninth for Alpine after being hampered by a slow pit stop, while McLaren’s Lando Norris rounded out the top 10, after starting from 18th on the grid.

2021 F1 championship standings

With four more races to go, Verstappen has extended his lead over Hamilton to 19 points. Bottas’ lackluster race, which also saw him suffer a slow pit stop, left him unable to score any points. As a result, Red Bull are now just one point behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.

Bottas did, however, manage to steal the fastest lap from Verstappen. While it’s just a matter of one point, with a title at stake, every point matters.

Next up is the Brazilian GP on November 12-14.

2021 Mexico GP results

2021 Mexico GP results
Pos Driver Team
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
7 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine
10 Lando Norris McLaren
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
15 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
16 George Russell Williams
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams
18 Nikita Mazepin Haas
NC Mick Schumacher Haas
NC Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri

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