Site logo

Verstappen wins lacklustre Mexico City Grand Prix


As we head into what should be a thrilling Mexico City Grand Prix, sadly, it is events that have little or nothing to do with the actual racing that are dominating the headlines.

According to the usual suspects, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are involved in an online spat after comments the Spaniard made were taken completely out of context in the name of clickbait by the usual suspects and then seized upon by those keyboard warriors Liberty Media likes to refer to a "fans".

Meanwhile, it is claimed that Max Verstappen and Red Bull are boycotting Sky Sports following comments made after the United States Grand Prix, when Ted Kravitz said Hamilton was "robbed" of the 2021 title.

Whilst relishing the fact that this might mean less chats with Christian Horner, while ignoring the Kravitz row - which, again, has led to the inevitable meltdown on social media - at Pitpass we appear to have been boycotted by Red Bull for some months.

Following the summer break when racing resumed, we informed Red Bull that we were no longer receiving their press releases. This was initially put down to a technical issue, but since then we have sent numerous - OK, four - emails to Red Bull, including a particularly nice one after last week's race, that they haven't had the courtesy to reply to.

Therefore if you wonder why we no longer include the post-session quotes from Max, Sergio and Christian, now you know. We can't think of anything that we've done to offend them, and in all honesty, if that's their attitude, **** 'em!

Finally, in its quest to fill the coffers, Liberty Media, courtesy of its F1 Experiences has been giving access to the paddock to all and sundry... at a price.

You may have noticed that this year there have been increasingly more faces in the paddock than usual. Previously, it appeared to be mostly gurning Brits on a jolly paid for by the company, but now it's just about everyone, including children.

What used to be the holy of holies, the ultimate dream for most fans, is now open house, providing you have the mullah, and in the last few races you will have noticed that it's been getting ridiculous.

Things appear to have come to a head this weekend with drivers being jostled - and in Pierre Gasly's case having his man-bag opened - as 'fans' demand autographs and selfies as if this is their right.

Understandably, while the drivers want to please the fans, they stress that they have an important job to do, a job that demands total focus, which isn't possible when there are fans wandering into your garage.

Fact is, this is the F1 Liberty has created, and there's every likelihood it will get worse.

On to the serious stuff and there is every prospect of today's race being a thriller - didn't we say that earlier - even though Ferrari, in particular - appear to be struggling.

For the first time this year, Mercedes is heading into a race feeling that it can win, though Max has to be favourite.

Much will depend on that long, long run to the first corner, the longest run from pole to the first braking zone of the season, almost 10 seconds of the 811-metre straight taken at full throttle.

For the last four races here the pole-man has failed to covert his advantage to a victory, a run that Verstappen will be keen to end today.

On that long run to Turn 1 he is joined by the Mercedes pair, Sergio Perez, the Ferraris and Valtteri Bottas, and that little scrap alone could be well worth the price of admission.

"Starting second and third can be advantageous," said Toto Wolff yesterday, "and I hope we can stick our nose, or both noses, into Turn 1 and then disappear into the distance."

And right behind them we have the McLarens and Alpines who continues their fierce battle for fourth, ahead of a Noah's Ark style grid made up of the AlphaTauris, Haas', Aston Martins and Williams.

However, other than these various battles, as Lando Norris pointed out yesterday, Mexico is usually a race of attrition, and we expect today to be no different.

The nature of the high altitude track is particularly demanding of the engine and brakes, as several drivers have found to their cost, while grip is also proving to be a major issue.

The 71-lap race could be a two-stopper or a one-stopper, depending on degradation rates, which can vary from team to team and driver to driver - as well as being influenced by the weather.

A two-stopper is fastest on paper: starting on the soft before two stints on the medium. This strategy is only possible for the ten drivers who have two sets of mediums still available in their allocation. Soft-medium-soft is an alternative two-stopper.

A medium-hard one-stopper is close to that in terms of overall time while the alternative medium to soft one-stopper is definitely slower.

Just over an hour ahead of the race, Perez walks into the stadium section to a huge roar from his adoring countrymen. There has been talk of the team 'gifting' the win to him today, but that would be totally wrong and the last thing the Mexican would want. Sadly, even if he wins the race on merit, the thought that it was 'gifted' will remain.

The pitlane opens and the drivers begin to head out.

Magnussen, who has already been demoted five-places after taking on a new ICE, appears to have a "gearbox issue".

Grip is already a problem, as Alonso is seen drifting.

Air temperature is 24 degrees C, while the track temperature is 46 degrees. It is cloudy, with a 40% chance of rain.

Due to "PU temperatures", Ricciardo is told to abort his practice start.

As the children sing the national anthem, there appears to be an issue with the right-rear on Magnussen's car. The wheel is off as it was fouling the brake drum.

All are on mediums, bar Verstappen, Perez, Sainz, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Vettel and Latifi, who are on softs.

Verstappen is on used softs, while Russell and Hamilton are on new mediums. Perez and Sainz are on used sifts, while Bottas is on new mediums and Leclerc on used softs.

They head off on the formation lap, all getting away.

The grid forms.

They're away! Verstappen gets a brilliant start, while Hamilton is soon alongside Russell. Both Mercedes tuck in behind the Red Bull, while Perez pulls out and looks to pass.

Into Turn 1, Verstappen leads, with Russell behind and Hamilton and Perez side-by-side. Hamilton has the inside, but at Turn 2 it is the Mexican who has the inside.

Under pressure from the two behind, Russell clips the kerb on the inside of Turn 2, as Hamilton slips by. Russell runs wide and on the run to Turn 4 Perez inevitably gwets ahead.

Behind, the Ferraris are battling side-by-side, as Alonso waits on the slightest mistake.

Throughout the field there is the usual argy-bargy but nothing of consequence.

At the end of Lap 1, it's: Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez, Russell, Sainz, Leclerc, Alonso, Bottas, Ocon and Norris.

After 4 laps Verstappen's lead has settled at 1.5s, while Bottas is all over Alonso. The Finn heads a DRS train of three cars, while teammate Zhou heads another of five.

Lap 5 sees Hamilton post a new fastest lap (23.063).

On lap 7, Ricciardo makes a move on Zhou but the Alfa driver is having none of it. Vettel keeps a watching eye.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Mexico City here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



1. Posted by ARL, 31/10/2022 17:58

"Congratulations on whatever perspicacity may or may not have incurred the wrath of Christian et al. For a crew whose primary purpose is surely to sell fizzy pop, I cannot help feeling that they have run away on a personal ego trip where any criticism or alternative world view now requires threats of legal action.

Refusing to engage with those whose job is to publicise their fizzy pop seems counter-intuitive. The whole "We don't need Porsche, but we'll take their money if they sit in the corner and leave us to do what we want" attitude also struck me as short term job protection for Christian and Helmut with no thought for the future of a couple of teams.

Teams come and go, how long will the new management of Red Bull keep financing two F1 teams now that Dieter is not there to protect them?"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms