And 16 for Verstappen. Unsurprisingly, the Dutchman, now a three-time world champion, won quite easily in Mexico after a fairly soporific race. A 16th success this season for the number 1, the 51st in his career. On pole, Charles Leclerc could not do better than third with his Ferrari, ahead of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
On pole, Charles Leclerc knew it was going to be difficult to keep his place at the first turn, 700m after the starting line. And the Monegasque was right. Despite a correct start, the number 16 of the Scuderia was overwhelmed by Max Verstappen, although 3rd, and attacked by Sergio Perez. While the Dutchman had taken the lead before the first corner, the Mexican tried to attack the Monegasque from the outside of the first corner and flew into the red car. If Leclerc was able to continue, Perez immediately stopped his run home.
Up front, Verstappen had done the hard part. He offered himself a small margin (4 seconds) over Leclerc, Hamilton, Sainz and Russell. Behind, the watchword was “management” of overheating and rubber. The drivers then paraded for numerous laps before starting the pit stops. Verstappen dived there on the 19th lap while Leclerc waited until the 31st lap. After everyone's stops, Verstappen led ahead of Leclerc and Hamilton.
That's when Kevin Magnussen woke everyone up by crashing his Haas on lap 34 causing the red flag and a 30-minute race interruption. At 10:13 p.m., a new start was given and Verstappen flew straight to victory. Behind, Hamilton, in mediums, quickly dropped Leclerc. Behind, it was a question of surviving the heat and taking the tires to the end for a lackluster race. A Grand Prix still animated by Lando Norris, who started 18th and who moved up to 5th place with some magnificent overtakes.
On the other hand, Sunday was complicated for Alpine with two cars blocked for a long time by Hulkenberg but Esteban Ocon ended up finding the loophole to take the point for tenth place. Pierre Gasly took 11th place. Finally, special mention for Daniel Ricciardo seventh with his Alpha Tauri. See you next weekend in Brazil.