Verstappen wins Mexico Grand Prix, sets record of 14 wins in an F1 season

Mexico City, Oct 30 (EFE).- Dutch Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on Sunday won the Mexico Grand Prix for the fourth time, thus becoming the first Formula One pilot to notch 14 victories in a single season.

Verstappen, who had secured the coveted and advantageous pole position in the qualification trials on Saturday, ran a superb race, keeping his pace constant and beating out Briton Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, and Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez, his fellow Red Bull teammate, who with his third-place finish once again got back into the No. 2 spot in the F1 rankings.

Spain’s Carlos Sainz, with Ferrari, ended the race in fifth position but his countryman, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, had to withdraw from the contest in the 65th lap after his engine quit.

It was mainly a contest of tired strategy between Red Bull and Mercedes, with Verstappen running for 45 laps on softer and faster tires to win his 34th race, holding the lead right from the start, although Hamilton passed his Mercedes teammate George Russell to vie with the Dutchman for the lead, although he never was able to get past him.

Hamilton has just two more chances to take home a win and avoid his first F1 season without a victory.

With the race being run before a record crowd at an elevation of 2,240 meters above sea level, the contest was a tough one with weather changes influencing the temperature on the track, which was 46 C (115 F) at the start, although by the end of the 71-lap race it was considerably lower.

Russell ended the race in fourth, while Charles Leclerc was in sixth, Daniel Ricciardo in seventh despite a 10-second penalty for a move that knocked Yuki Tsunoda out of the race, while Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas finished in eighth, ninth and 10th place.

Verstappen clinched the F1 world championship – retaining his title – two races ago with four races to go, then clinched the constructors championship for Red Bull during the next race and now has two races to go, during which he may resoundingly establish a new record for most wins in a season.

On Nov. 13, the season continues with the F1 contest in Sao Paulo and it will conclude on Nov. 20 in Abu Dhabi.

EFE gb/hbr/bp

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