Verstappen wins as Hamilton takes title in Mexico

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wins the Mexican GP ahead of the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen as by finishing in 4th, Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 Drivers Championship and becomes a 5 time World Champion.

28/10/18

Qualifying Result

1.Ricciardo  2.Verstappen  3.Hamilton  4.Vettel  5.Bottas  6.Raikkonen  7.Hulkenberg  8.Sainz  9.Leclerc  10.Ericsson  11.Ocon  12.Alonso  13.Perez  14.Hartley  15.Vandoorne  16.Magnussen  17.Stroll  18.Grosjean*  19.Sirotkin  20.Gasly**

Grosjean* carries over a three-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Charles Leclerc at US GP.

Gasly* incurs a 15-place grid penalty for engine component changes, five-place grid penalty for gearbox change.

Race

Daniel Ricciardo took his 3rd career pole on Saturday and denied his Red Bull team-mate, Max Verstappen, from becoming the youngest ever pole sitter. Lewis Hamilton can win the championship today if: Sebastian Vettel wins and if Hamilton finishes 7th or if Vettel doesn’t win, Hamilton will be champion for the 5th time. There is a slight threat of a thunderstorm later on in the race.

The lights go out and its a poor start from Daniel Ricciardo from pole but its a good start for Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton who are neck and neck going down to turn 1. Verstappen edges ahead and leads with Hamilton in 2nd, Ricciardo in 3rd with Sebastian Vettel in 4th, Valterri Bottas and 5th and Carlos Sainz in 6th. Lap 2, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Sainz for 6th place.

Lap 5, Fernando Alonso has stopped due to debris being lodged in his front wing. The Virtual Safety Car is deployed and is only out for for a minute until the marshals recover Alonso’s stricken McLaren.

Lap 7, Max Verstappen leads by 1.9 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd in 3.8 seconds behind Verstappen with Sebastian Vettel in 4th and 6.8 seconds behind Verstappen. Esteban Ocon, Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly have already made their first pit-stops with Ocon incurring damage to his front wing on the first lap after making contact with Nico Hulkenberg.

Lap 11, Lewis Hamilton pits from 2nd. They switch the Brit to the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 5th. Valterri Bottas also pits with the Finn also switching to the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 8th. Lap 12, Daniel Ricciardo pits from 2nd and switches to the Supersoft tyre and rejoins behind Hamilton in 5th. Lap 13, Max Verstappen pits from the lead. He goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 3rd ahead of Hamilton and Ricciardo.

Lap 14, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have not made their first stops and they run 1st and 2nd. Lap 15, Max Verstappen overtakes Raikkonen for 2nd before turn 1. The Renault drivers of Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg have pitted as well for the first time and they run 8th and 10th at the moment. Lap 16, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Raikkonen for 3rd down the inside of turn 3 and Daniel Ricciardo also overtakes Raikkonen. Lap 18, Vettel pits from 1st and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. He rejoins in 4th as Raikkonen also pits and rejoins in 6th on the Supersoft tyre as well.

Lap 19, Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton by 8.1 seconds with Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd, Sebastian Vettel in 4th, Valterri Bottas in 5th and Kimi Raikkonen in 6th. Home-favourite Sergio Perez is in 7th but hasn’t made his first pit-stop and is ahead of Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg. Ricciardo is only 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton with Vettel only 1.1 seconds behind Ricciardo. A look at Hamilton’s tyres shows a bit of tyre degradation and it doesn’t look like a one-stop may be viable.

Lap 28, Max Verstappen has extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton to 11.2 seconds. Red Bull tell Verstappen that the rest of the race is not going to be easy with everyone around him, including him, either doing a 2 or 3 stop. Lap 30, Sebastian Vettel pressurises Daniel Ricciardo for 4th place with Ricciardo holding down his position. Carlos Sainz has pulled over at turn 15. The VSC is out and Sergio Perez takes advantage of this by making his first pit-stop and rejoining in 9th. Lap 32, the VSC ends. Lap 33, Verstappen has extended his lead to 12.6 seconds over Hamilton.

Lap 34, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Daniel Ricciardo for 3rd by going down the inside of the Australian of turn 1. Ricciardo blames the backmarkers of Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc for getting in his way. Behind the top 6, Nico Hulkenberg is in 7th with Perez and Leclerc in 8th and 9th and Kevin Magnussen in 10th. Lap 37, Max Verstappen still leads by 13.5 seconds with Vettel now catching Lewis Hamilton for 2nd. Lap 39, Vettel overtakes Hamilton for 2nd down into turn 1. Hamilton didn’t need to defends that move so hard because where he is right now, he’ll take the championship.

Lap 40, Sergio Perez is out of his home race. A replay shows that something has broken on the Mexican’s Force India’s car. Esteban Ocon and Brendon Hartley make slight contact. Lap 44, Lewis Hamilton has lost a huge chunk of time and reports back to Mercedes of vibrations with his left-front tyre. Daniel Ricciardo is catching the Brit. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel has just set 3 consecutive fastest laps and the gap to Max Verstappen is down to 12.1 seconds.

Lap 47, Daniel Ricciardo pressurises Lewis Hamilton into turn 1 and the Brit locks-up and has to take to the escape road. Ricciardo overtakes Hamilton for 2nd. Lap 48, Sebastian Vettel pits from 2nd and goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoins in 3rd. Hamilton also pits onto a used set of Ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in 6th. Lap 48, Max Verstappen pits from the lead and rejoins on the Supersoft tyre and in the lead. Valterri Bottas also pits and rejoins in 6th.

Lap 51, Max Verstappen leads ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas. Nico Hulkenberg is in 7th ahead of Charles Leclerc, Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson. Lap 58, Vettel has caught up to the back of Ricciardo as the pair make their way through the traffic. As it stands, Hamilton will become a 5 time world champion by finishing in 5th. Lap 62, there is smoke coming from the back of Ricciardo’s car as the Australian pulls over at turn 1 and is out for the 8th time this season. The VSC is out but will the same problem occur for Verstappen?

Lap 63, Valterri Bottas pits from 5th and rejoins in 5th on the Hypersoft tyre. The VSC ends. Lap 67, Max Verstappen leads by 14.3 seconds over Sebastian Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen is in 3rd ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas. Nico Hulkenberg is in 6th ahead of Charles Leclerc, Stoffel Vandoorne, Marcus Ericsson and Pierre Gasly. Hamilton will take the championship if he finishes where he is. Lap 69, Red Bull tell Verstappen that they have “turned the engine down”.

Lap 71, Max Verstappen wins the Mexican GP with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd and 3rd. But in 4th, Lewis Hamilton will take the championship and becomes a 5 time world champion!

The Constructors Championship however still rumbles onto the Brazilian GP. Mercedes lead Ferrari by 55 points after today’s race.

Race Result

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 71 Laps (5th Career Win & Fans Driver of the Day)
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +17.316s
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +49.914s
  4. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +78.738s (2018 World Champion)
  5. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  6. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 2 Laps
  7. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, + 2 Laps
  8. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, + 2 Laps (First points since Azerbaijan GP)
  9. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, + 2 Laps
  10. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, + 2 Laps
  11. Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India, + 2 Laps
  12. Lance Stroll, Williams, + 2 Laps
  13. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, + 2 Laps
  14. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, + 2 Laps
  15. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, + 2 Laps
  16. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 3 Laps
  • Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, DNF
  • Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India, DNF
  • Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, DNF
  • Fernando Alonso, McLaren, DNF

 

 

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