Race Report: Max wins Mexican GP

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 28: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 28, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202310290027 // Usage for editorial use only //

The F1 Mexican Grand Prix race was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen breaking his own record of 15 wins in a season. The race may have seemed like standard operating procedure but it wasn’t without its drama and oddities.

Win

A win for Red Bull and Max Verstappen who did a marvelous job of converting their long-run race pace on Hard compounds into a dominant win. The 16th win in a season for Max Verstappen.

A win for Mercedes who have toiled day and night to get Lewis Hamilton a car that can fight for second in both driver’s and constructor’s championships. Lewis had a very good run to P2 and like Austin, he seems highly motivated and energized.

Ok, it wasn’t converting their P1 and P2 starting positions into P1 and P2 finishing positions but still, it was a decent race for Ferrari with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing P3 and P4 respectively. The downside is, a Mercedes is finishing ahead of them.

A big win for McLaren’s Lando Norris who started at the back and despite his strategy being spoiled by a red flag, passed his way up to P5 is a very inspired drive! A great result of Lando and the team.

A big win for Daniel Ricciardo who qualified well and raced well to finish in P7 which the team desperately needed. Dan’s result moves Alpha Tauri ahead of Haas in the constructors championship. It’s a race worth $20 million in prize money!

A win for Alex Albon who climbed into the points for Williams F1 and that’s a good result given where he qualified.

Fail

Not sure what was going on with Sergio Perez as a veteran, such as he is, would know that three into 1 doesn’t work. It was a case of trying to win the race at the first turn. It’s all good to suggest you see a gap and go for it but not if there is a high possibility of colliding with the two cars to your right. Very shocked he tried that move.

A fail for Yuki Tsunoda as this could have been the best result for Alpha Tauri all year with both cars in the points but his lunge at Oscar Piastri was a bad mistake as he dropped out of the points. This is why I would have kept Liam if I’m honest. Daniel didn’t make the same mistake trying to force a pass around George Russell late in the race. The team needed those points!

A fail for Aston Martin as they have seemingly moved in the opposite direction their upgrades were intended to move. Such a tough weekend and Lance Stroll getting mugged by Valtteri Bottas ensured a dual DNF.

WTH

At the time of writing this, I am not sure what broke on Kevin Magnussen’s car but that was a nasty crash. Hope Kevin is ok.

Not sure I completely understand Ferrari’s strategy with Carlos Sainz. Feel like they could have done something different to prevent Hamilton passing him.

The crowd booing Charles Leclerc was unfortunate as he had nowhere to go and while some might say he could have braked, so could Sergio. I understand it’s the hometown crowd but it’s still a shame to see/hear.

Pirelli Report:

The race was run in the highest temperatures seen all weekend, the track being at 52 °C at the start, dropping to 45 °C at the end. As expected, almost all the drivers chose to start on the Medium tyre, the exceptions being Ocon (Hard), Albon (Hard) and Norris (Soft). Once the race had settled down after the battles shortly after the start, the first part of the race saw the drivers play close attention to managing their tyres and cars. This applied to those who had definitely opted for a one-stop race as well as those keeping their options open to go for a two-stop, especially among the leaders. The Safety Car and the red flag that followed because of Magnussen’s crash, made it more complicated to determine which would be the quickest strategy, also because the race was now practically divided into two parts. The track condition improved significantly compared to the start of the weekend and this meant that the graining effect diminished progressively.

Mexican GP results:

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT7149:23.53125
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES71+13.875s19
316Charles LeclercFERRARI71+23.124s15
455Carlos SainzFERRARI71+27.154s12
54Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES71+33.266s10
663George RussellMERCEDES71+41.020s8
73Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT71+41.570s6
881Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES71+43.104s4
923Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES71+48.573s2
1031Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT71+62.879s1
1110Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT71+66.208s0
1222Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT71+78.982s0
1327Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI71+80.309s0
1477Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI71+80.597s0
1524Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI71+81.676s0
162Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES70DNF0
1718Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES66DNF0
NC14Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES47DNF0
NC20Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI31DNF0
NC11Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1DNF0
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
race-report-max-wins-mexican-gpThe F1 Mexican Grand Prix race was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen breaking his own record of 15 wins in a season. The race may have seemed like standard operating procedure but it wasn’t without its drama and oddities. Win A win for Red Bull...
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Fabio

Sergio: Do you like my pace?
RBR: errr….

Mike W

What no one is talking about is: What if Checo gets past LeClare and is pinching Max? What if he pushes LeClare into Max and takes Max out of the race? Checo has been dreaming of beating Max in Mexico for a long time and knows Red Bull can’t favor Max over him in that race. I think this was a situation where Checo decided before the race that he was Team Checo, not Team Red Bull. His comments were clear… he would not accept a “podium”. How do you two assess the psychology of this move?