Perez Crashes Out in Mexico, Verstappen Makes it 16 Wins
Max Verstappen won the Mexico City Grand Prix today; again in dominant fashion. Despite the race being red flagged, Verstappen was able to maintain his lead on the restart and secured his record setting 16th win in 2023. He has the potential to further extend this record in the remaining races this year. Verstappen start from P3 in the race but got the hole shot into turn 1 drafting pole sitter Charles Leclerc perfectly to make the pass and assume P1 at the start of the race.
Verstappen would hold his position until the race was later red flagged after a mechanical suspension failure caused a high speed crash for Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. It took the track marshals quite a bit of time to clear the debris and fix the track barriers. On the restart Verstappen timed his get away perfect building a 2.5 second lead within 2 laps and would not look back.
Perez crashes out on Lap 1
Sergio Perez came into the weekend with a goal of extending his championship point lead ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the battle for second place. Unfortunately for Perez his race ended before it started. On the first lap of the race Perez made contact with Charles Leclerc in a pure racing incident. Perez was admittedly frustrated with the outcome in his home race. He stated, “I’ve had some really sad moments in my career, but certainly this is as a race is the saddest one, because of the end result. But at the end of the day, this is just racing. I go very sad home, but I also go very proud of my time or myself. We gave it all. I knew that today, a podium was not enough for me, and I really wanted to go for the win. I saw the gap and I went for it.”
Leclerc was booed by the local fans after the race but the incident was determined to be a racing incident. Perez was a bit ambitious trying to run 3 cars wide into turn 1. Contract was made and Perez went spinning. He was able to get the car back to the pits but there was substantial sidepod and floor damage to the car that ultimately ended his race.
Hamilton Seizes the Opportunity
After a disappoint United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton found redemption in Mexico. With Perez crashing out of the race Hamilton had one goal; score points. That is exactly what he did. Hamilton finished P2 securing 19 points for the weekend. He cut Perez’s lead to 20 points. With three race weekends to go this season. The race for second is set to heat up in the coming weeks.
Hamilton had the following words after the race, “It’s a great result considering we started from P6 and amazing day for the team. We pushed hard and I’m proud of the whole team for all their work. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for us so it’s great to finally bounce back. The car felt much better today, and the pace was strong. Today was about the balance of the car and managing the tires and we managed to do that well. We dug really deep this weekend to improve the set-up and get it right and the result today shows the hard work everyone in the team has put in to achieve that. Now I can’t wait to get to Brazil and hopefully continue with the strong pace of the car.”
Leclerc Fails to Convert Yet Another Pole Position
After securing pole position it looked to be a good start for Charles Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz. Ferrari locked out the front row but would soon find themselves falling behind after the scuffle into turn 1. Leclerc avoided major damage with his incident with Perez allowing him to continue. However, the scuffle and poor start resulted in Verstappen taking advantage. Leclerc’s advantage was gone almost instantly. Despite this, Leclerc was able to muster the pace for a P3 finish to salvage the weekend. Sainz finished P4 securing a double points finish for Ferrari. Lando Norris finished behind them to round out the top 5.
One other highlight of the weekend came in the form of an accomplishment by Alpha Tauri driver Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo finished P7 in a hard fought race securing him 6 championship points 2 weeks after his return to the grid.
Full Race Results Below
|Position||Number||Driver||Car / Engine||Laps||Time|
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||71||–|
|4||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||71||+27.154|
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||71||+41.570|
|12||22||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||71||+1’18.982|
|14||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||71||+1’20.597|
|15||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||71||+1’21.676|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin/Mercedes||66||–|
|–||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||47||–|
|–||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1||–|