‘To win it from P3 is just amazing’
World champion Max Verstappen drew level with Alain Prost on 51 Formula One victories on Sunday when he claimed his record 16th triumph of the season at the Mexican Grand Prix.
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Starting from third on the grid, the Red Bull driver stole the lead at the start and then dominated the race, which was punctuated by a lengthy red flag stoppage when Kevin Magnussen crashed heavily in his Haas. Verstappen, 26, came home 13.875 seconds ahead of a revitalised Lewis Hamilton, who started sixth, with pole-sitter Charles Leclerc taking third place ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz. Lando Norris finished a glorious fifth for McLaren after an enthralling drive through the field from 17th on the grid, ahead of George Russell in the second Mercedes.
Fifth win in Mexico
It was Verstappen’s fifth win in Mexico and his record-equalling 18th podium finish this year while the luckless Leclerc, who collided with Sergio Perez’s Red Bull at the first corner, endured his 11th successive failure to convert pole into a victory.
Perez spun off, recovered and retired, much to the disappointment of his home Mexican fans in a big crowd at the high-altitude Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. “It is just incredible,” said Verstappen. “To win from P3, is just amazing. I started P3 and the car was really great. It was a very strong race and now I don’t know—more wins, maybe 17 or 18!”
Hamilton: I feel fresh
Hamilton, who was disqualified after finishing second in the United States a week earlier, said: “I feel fresh. I was pushing, but not crazy hard. It is a great result, considering we started sixth. This is a great result for us in a difficult few weeks.”
Leclerc noticed “a lot of booing” from the crowd and explained his part in Perez’s exit. “I had nowhere to go. I was between the two Red Bulls. Checo damaged my car and it ended his race. It was not on purpose.” Daniel Ricciardo finished a creditable seventh for Alpha Tauri ahead of Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren, Williams’ Alex Albon and Esteban Ocon of Alpine.
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