Max Verstappen of Red Bull won the Mexico City Grand Prix with ease and control, breaking the previous record for most victories in a season.
During the race’s opening stages, the world champion fought off a charge from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes before gaining distance and claiming his 14th victory of the year.
The Dutchman now trails Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, who each won 13 races between 2004 and 2013.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull finished third, ahead of George Russell of Mercedes.
Mercedes entered the race with high expectations after qualifying in second and third position, just behind Verstappen.
Verstappen surged into his race following the pit stops, despite the early promise fading due to differing tire strategy, leaving Hamilton to battle Perez for second place.
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How did Verstappen’s victory progress?
Mercedes began on the “medium” tire while Red Bull started on the “soft,” raising the issue of how the two contrasting approaches would interact.
Verstappen maintained the lead into the first curve only twice in five races in Mexico. Hamilton passed Russell to take second place at the second turn, and Perez followed two circuits later.
Hamilton closely followed Verstappen throughout the first stint, and it is evident that Red Bull was under pressure from Mercedes.
However, the stress subsided immediately after Red Bull made a pit stop for tires on lap 25, changing to medium tires, while Hamilton changed to hard tires four circuits later.
Verstappen’s ability to follow Hamilton’s lead and complete the race without stopping was in doubt.
The problematic tire quickly proved a wrong choice as Hamilton, who finished 6.5 seconds behind Verstappen, gradually pulled further and farther away from the Red Bull.
When Hamilton grumbled about the performance of his tires, his engineers informed him that the mediums would lose grip near the race’s conclusion.
Verstappen claimed another easy victory as they held on pretty nicely.
On Hamilton’s slowing lap, Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff radioed, “In retrospect, maybe not the correct tyre decision.”
Hamilton said in the post-race interviews that he believed Mercedes should have started on the soft like Red Bull.