Hamilton wins in Mexico to keep hopes of title battle

Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back victories by taking the chequered flag in the Mexican Grand Prix to keep his Formula 1 championship fight with Nico Rosberg alive.

As in the United States last weekend, Hamilton spearheaded another Mercedes one-two, finishing 8.3 seconds clear of Rosberg to close the gap to 19 points with two races remaining.

Rosberg had a scare on lap 50 when Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen dived down the inside into Turn 4 after Rosberg had made a small mistake at Turn 1.

Verstappen locked up as he made the pass, sliding past Rosberg and getting out of shape, allowing the Mercedes driver to get back through into second.

After that, Verstappen slid back into the clutches of Sebastian Vettel, and on lap 68 the youngest locked up at Turn 1 and took to the grass to hold onto his third position.

The race stewards handed a Verstappen a five-second time penalty soon after the chequered flag, enough to drop him to fifth place, meaning he had to leave the cool-down room as he prepared to take the podium.

That promoted Vettel – who was very angry on the radio at Verstappen and the FIA before the penalty – to third position.

The stewards will investigate another incident involving Vettel and the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo as they fight for fourth into Turn 4 on lap 69, touching wheels as the Ferrari held the position.

Up until those moments, the race at the front had been uneventful, with Hamilton maintaining the lead as Rosberg tried to keep a safe gap in second.

After Hamilton stopped on lap 17 Rosberg led for three laps before his stop, with Vettel then taking over for seven laps before taking on new rubber, with Hamilton regaining the lead after 31 laps from which there was no looking back.

For the second race running a good start off the line from pole gave Hamilton his platform for the victory, although he did suffer a significant lock up with his right-front wheel into Turn 1.

That resulted in Hamilton taking a trip across the grass and cutting out Turn 2 completely, while Rosberg also went off the track at Turn 2 under attack from Verstappen.

Further back, Esteban Gutierrez tagged Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein, who in turn spun into Marcus Ericsson in his Sauber, sending both off track, with the Manor driver retiring immediately.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz earned himself a five-second time penalty for forcing fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso off track in his McLaren on the run from Turn 3 to Turn 4.

With debris on the track, and Wehrlein’s stricken car, the safety car was deployed at the end of lap one, staying out for two laps.

Red Bull made an early tactical gamble, bringing in Ricciardo immediately and stripping him of the super-soft tyre and sending him on a long stint on mediums, dropping him to P17.

Ricciardo pitted again after 50 laps for a late run on softs, claiming fourth pending the stewards’ investigation, with Verstappen fifth.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg seventh, with the German surviving a late spin after tangling with The Iceman.

Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were eighth and ninth, with home hero Sergio Perez tenth.

The championship may not have been settled at Mexico but the fight goes on for Brazil. If Nico Rosberg wins the race at Interlagos, then the Mercedes driver will be champion unless Lewis Hamilton has other ideas. Game on!

Mexican Grand Prix, race results after 71 laps:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    71    1h40m31.402s
2    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    71    8.354s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    71    17.313s
4    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    71    20.858s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    71    21.323s
6    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    71    49.376s
7    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    71    58.891s
8    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    71    1m05.612s
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    71    1m16.206s
10    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    71    1m16.798s
11    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    70    1 Lap
12    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    70    1 Lap
13    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    70    1 Lap
14    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    70    1 Lap
15    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    70    1 Lap
16    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    70    1 Lap
17    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    70    1 Lap
18    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    70    1 Lap
19    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    70    1 Lap
20    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    70    1 Lap
21    Esteban Ocon    Manor-Mercedes    69    2 Laps
–    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    0    Collision

Drivers’ standings:
1    Nico Rosberg    349
2    Lewis Hamilton    330
3    Daniel Ricciardo    239
4    Sebastian Vettel    192
5    Kimi Raikkonen    178
6    Max Verstappen    175
7    Sergio Perez    85
8    Valtteri Bottas    85
9    Nico Hulkenberg    60
10    Fernando Alonso    52
11    Felipe Massa    51
12    Carlos Sainz    38
13    Romain Grosjean    29
14    Daniil Kvyat    25
15    Jenson Button    21
16    Kevin Magnussen    7
17    Jolyon Palmer    1
18    Pascal Wehrlein    1
19    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
20    Esteban Gutierrez    0
21    Marcus Ericsson    0
22    Felipe Nasr    0
23    Rio Haryanto    0
24    Esteban Ocon    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    679
2    Red Bull-Renault    422
3    Ferrari    370
4    Force India-Mercedes    145
5    Williams-Mercedes    136
6    McLaren-Honda    74
7    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    55
8    Haas-Ferrari    29
9    Renault    8
10    Manor-Mercedes    1
11    Sauber-Ferrari    0

Next race: Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos. November.

5 thoughts to “Hamilton wins in Mexico to keep hopes of title battle”

  1. Sebastian Vettel’s late-race clashes with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo led to him turning the airwaves blue during the Mexican Grand Prix.

    After Verstappen ran across the Turn 1 grass to avoid being passed, and Ricciardo’s lunge into Turn 4, Vettel went wild on his radio, and even swore directly at race director Charlie Whiting.

    Here’s what he said, along with race engineer Riccardo Adami and team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, who stepped in on the slowing down lap.
    After the Verstappen incident…

    Vettel: “Move! Move for [bleep] sake!”

    Vettel: “He’s a [long bleep], that’s what he is.”

    Vettel: “I mean, am I the only one or are you not seeing what I’m seeing? He’s just backing me off into Ricciardo [bleep].”

    Engineer Riccardo Adami: “Charlie said that…”

    Vettel: “Yeah! You know what, here is the message for Charlie: [bleep] off! Honestly, [bleep] off.”
    After the Ricciardo incident…

    Vettel: “Honestly, I’m going to hit someone I think I have a puncture, rear left.”

    Engineer Riccardo Adami: “Tyres are fine, tyres are fine.”
    On the slowing down lap…

    Vettel: “He has to give me the position. End of the story.”

    Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene “Sebastian, Sebastian, calm down, calm down. They are under investigation. I know that it is not fair but calm down. Put your head down and we talk afterwards.”

    Vettel: “OK, copy Maurizio.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  2. Max Verstappen hit back at Sebastian Vettel following their clash during the Mexican Grand Prix, telling his rival to “go back to school”.

    Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for cutting the track while defending his position from Vettel, who inherited Verstappen’s third place in the race. But Verstappen said he had done no more than the two Mercedes drivers had at the start.

    “I think it’s pretty similar to what happened in lap one, corner one,” Verstappen told reporters after the race. “Lewis [Hamilton]” went off, he gained a massive advantage, and Nico [Rosberg] he also went off in turn one when we touched and he also gained an advantage.”

    “And I didn’t even gain an advantage. I was still ahead under braking when I came back on the track I was the same length in front. It was ridiculous.”

    Verstappen denied he had been told to hand his place to Vettel before the chequered flag. “No they thought I had to give it back but it was never confirmed,” he said. “I was not backing him up, I was just trying to do the best I can.”

    Verstappen also accused Vettel of changing his line under braking, something the Red Bull driver has been accused of in recent races.

    “I saw the footage already,” he said. “I think at least I can do it in a good way, he doesn’t know how to do it because it’s ridiculous what he did.”

    “I mean Daniel was alongside him, he just turned into him, they touched.”

    A furious Vettel then swore repeatedly at race director Charlie Whiting on the radio.

    “And then he starts shouting on the radio,” Verstappen continued. “I don’t know how many times he’s using very bad language in general. I think he has to go back to school or something to get some language.”

    “I will speak to him because this is just ridiculous the way he’s handling. I mean he’s always so frustrated the whole weekend he’s shouting on the radio. He’s just a very frustrated guy at the moment.”

    Source: F1Fanatic.co.uk

  3. Verstappen loses podium spot at Mexican Grand Prix, but Vettel is under investigation. Motorsport.com has the full story.

    Max Verstappen has been dropped from third to fifth in the Mexican Grand Prix, thanks to a five-second penalty for gaining an advantage during his fight with Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the race.

    Vettel’s podium, however, is also in doubt, as the Ferrari driver is under investigation for moving under breaking when defending from Daniel Ricciardo.

    The Dutchman was running in third place ahead of the rapidly closing Vettel when he locked up at Turn 1 on lap 68 and ran across the grass run-off area to hold on to the position.

    Despite being advised by his Red Bull team to give the position back, and Vettel speaking furiously over the radio about what happened – the Dutchman held on for third.

    A note from the stewards said that the incident would be investigated after the race.

    Within seconds of the finish though, it was announced that Verstappen was given a five-second penalty, dropping him to fifth behind Vettel and Ricciardo.

    After the chequered flag, Vettel moved across and gesticulated to Verstappen to make clear his displeasure about what had happened.

    Verstappen’s move across the grass at Turn 1 was similar to what happened to Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap when he locked up and ran across the run-off area to hold on to his lead.

  4. An angry Daniel Ricciardo slammed Sebastian Vettel following Sunday’s race in Mexico, accusing the Ferrari driver of moving under braking as the pair contested fourth place in the closing laps, and saying the German’s tactics were clearly wrong and should be punished.

    Ricciardo had been closing on Vettel as he duelled for third with the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen. With Vettel bottled up behind the Dutchman, Ricciardo pounced at Turn 4 and appeared to have the inside line – only for Vettel to squeeze the Australian, with the pair making light contact several times before Vettel eventually fended Ricciardo off to hold position.

    “I just felt that Seb did what everyone’s been complaining about lately, moving under braking,” Ricciardo said of the incident, which stewards are investigating. “He is smiling now. For me he doesn’t deserve to be up there [on the podium] with the move he pulled.

    “It looked like he opened the door, I committed and had every right to be there, but he kept closing the door and in the end I had nowhere to go.

    “I was frustrated by that. We know Max’s moves have been a bit questionable – that was the same case today with Seb. Don’t get me wrong I love racing, I love racing hard and even a bit of contact, but this whole moving under braking – you don’t move after you’ve been out-foxed.

    “Seb moved early, I’d won the chess match you could say, and then he went ‘oh no’ and moved late and left me nowhere to go. To me that’s not right. It was still a fun race, but I would have loved to be up there on the podium.”

    Ricciardo also questioned the fact that winner Lewis Hamilton had escaped without penalty after the Mercedes star locked up heavily and went off over the Turn 1 run-off at the start of the race.

    “I also didn’t understand the start, how you can be leading, lock the brakes, go off and come out in front,” Ricciardo said.

    “I think he deserved the penalty; I think anyone who does that deserves a penalty.

    “If you lock up and miss the corner you have to pay the price – Max too. I don’t know, I’m just a bit frustrated with how it panned out. I really wanted to be on the podium…”

    Source: Formula1.com

  5. UPDATE: Ricciardo inherits third after Vettel penalised for erratic driving. Formula1.com provides the full story.

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has been given a ten-second time penalty for driving ‘dangerously or erratically’ while defending fourth place from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages of Sunday’s Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico 2016.

    It means Vettel drops from third to fifth in the final classification, with Ricciardo moving up to third and Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen – who earlier had five seconds added to his race time for going off track and gaining an advantage whilst battling the four-time champion – to fourth.

    In making their decision, the stewards referred to the race director Charlie Whiting’s recent directive in the United States, which stipulated that any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers.

    According to the stewards report telemetry and video evidence showed that Vettel did change direction under braking for Turn 4 and that “this was considered to be potentially dangerous in view of the proximity of the wheels of each car.”

    In addition to a 10-second penalty, Vettel was also handed two penalty points on his license, bringing his total to six points in the last 12 months.

    Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said ‘bureaucracy’ had robbed his team of a podium, adding that the decision was “too harsh and somehow unfair.”

    Speaking about the incident with Ricciardo after the race, Vettel indicated he thought his driving was within acceptable bounderies: “I didn’t get the best exit [out of Turn 3] so I knew it would be tight with Daniel, and I know Daniel in these situations: he’s jumping into the gap even if he doesn’t make the rest of the corner.

    “I think I knew exactly the situation – or in my head – the situation in Barcelona came up where he dived down the inside last minute. I gave him enough room but in fact he didn’t make the first corner.

    “He was obviously upset about it and he told me to look at it again. I will do that but yeah, I think I gave him just enough room, it was very late. I think both of us just about made the corner.”

    However, Ricciardo said that Vettel’s move was “what everyone’s been complaining about lately”.

    “It looked like he opened the door, I committed and had every right to be there, but he kept closing the door and in the end I had nowhere to go,” the Australian explained.

    “Don’t get me wrong I love racing, I love racing hard and even a bit of contact, but this whole moving under braking – you don’t move after you’ve been out-foxed.”

    Ricciardo’s promotion to third assures the Red Bull driver of third place in the drivers’ standings this season, which equals his best championship position to date.

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