Mexico GP

Mexico GP: Winners and Losers

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Winners:

  • Max Verstappen claims his third career victory, all three coming the week after Kvyat was demoted. If nothing else he deserves the title of Driver of the Day for keeping the streak going, problem is if Kvyat doesn't return he won't again be demoted and he'll need a new source of inspiration.
  • Esteban Ocon was had another stunning race, again beating his teammate (in front of his home crowd) and proving that he's a force to be reckoned with. It was pointed out by the team's twitter feed that either Force India driver have scored enough points to finish fourth in the constructors' championship in their own right -- an amazing accomplishment for a guy like Ocon who is still so green and online getting better.
  • Lewis Hamilton will remember Mexico with great fondness. Apart from his first lap incident, finishing a lap down on the leaders and an opening stint where he couldn't seem to approach any cars to save his life, he hung on to recover a couple of points but more importantly seal his fourth drivers' title and become the most successful British driver in F1's history.

Losers:

  • Kimi Raikkonen just couldn't get into the groove. In a car that was fast enough for pole, to finish less just over 15 seconds ahead of Vettel who had an extra pitstop and came from last to P4, he's certainly done the least to deserve his podium here.
  • Renault had a worrying time in Mexico. Although the altitude makes things like getting air into the car more difficult, Verstappen said he was worried for his own reliability after watching Ricciardo, Sainz and Hartley all drop out. Add to that an electronics fault for Hulkenberg and powering the Red Bull to victory must still leaving them with mixed feelings at best.
  • DJ awks-podium shocked and confused more than he delighted. However you felt about the boxing-style pump up introductions from Austin, surely we can all agree that these huge virtual lips and marshal stacks spewing dub-step are for the after-party, not the podium. I'm all for freshening things up, but this was the second air-ball in as many races for me.

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Hamilton wins the race and Vettel loses his cool in Mexico

Lewis Hamilton claimed a dominant victory today at the Mexican Grand Prix. After some tense moments, Nico Rosberg was able to hold P2 and keep his run to his first drivers' world championship on track. This much was clear as the drivers' crossed the finish line, but from there on things get rough.

Behind the Mercedes, Max Verstappen finished third ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. In the final laps, Vettel tried to pass Verstappen and eventually Verstappen left the track and clearly maintained his position by doing so. He was instructed by the stewards and his own team to hand the position back to Vettel, but chose not to and risked a five-second time penalty. 

Ahead of the podium presentations, the stewards made it clear that Verstappen had been given a penalty which promoted both Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo ahead of him in the final standings. Verstappen awkwardly left the cool down area, and Vettel took his place (rightfully it seemed) on the podium.

Post-race, a defensive move from Vettel against Daniel Ricciardo came under further scrutiny, and Vettel was found to have breached the recently revised regulations regarding moving under breaking. 

Ricciardo was very vocal in his comments to the press, and the stewards clearly agreed handing Vettel a ten-second time penalty which drops him down to P5 (behind Vestappen, ironically) and cost him two points on his Super Licence.

Vettel was fortunate not have been investigated for bringing the sport into disrepute for his verbal barrage over the team radio. First he called Verstappen a name that was censored by the FOM broadcast. When he was informed that the team had sent a message to Chief Steward Charlie Whiting about Verstappen's refusal to yield, Vettel fired back, "Yeah, I have a message for Charlie - F*** OFF!"

Having claimed P3 Ricciardo has now secured 3rd position in the drivers' title, while Rosberg can win the title if he wins either of the next two races in Brazil or Abu Dhabi, or through various combinations of podium finishes.