Nico Rosberg's championship lead has been cut to nineteen points after Lewis Hamilton cruised to a 51st career victory in Mexico. His win draws the three-time champion Hamilton level on wins with Alain Prost.
It was a race that was without its controversy, as in the final stages Max Verstappen appeared to gain an advantage in the final few laps over the charging Sebastian Vettel, who was on the fresher tyres pushing for the third place position.
Vettel was clearly incensed as he drove next to Verstappen in the post-race lap, and used some colourful language towards his team reflecting on Verstappen’s driving.
Vettel eventually did finish in 3rd following a superb drive, as Verstappen received a 5-second penalty for his actions on lap 70, which again saw Verstappen defend extremely aggressively. This isn’t the first time Verstappen has come under scrutiny for his driving style this year.
On lap 1, there was also drama as both Hamilton and Rosberg both were forced off track but both avoided penalties.
Max Verstappen was caught up in the middle of the controversy once again, as it appeared he forced Rosberg off the track. As for Hamilton, he locked up following an impressive start and had to drive over the grass to avoid crashing out early on.
Daniel Ricciardo took advantage of the consequent safety car, to pit and change to the Medium tyres in order to contrast to teammate’s Max Verstappen’s strategy.
Verstappen was to pit not too much later, and came out behind teammate Ricciardo early on in the race, as Ricciardo’s longer strategy prevailed in the early stages of the race. Ricciardo’s strategy wasn’t too pay off, despite attacking Vettel late on, and coming close to pipping the German.
The race could have panned out very differently, as Rosberg pitted on lap 21 narrowly coming out ahead of the charging Red Bull pair. However, Ricciardo was ordered to let teammate Verstappen past due to the Dutchman being on the fresher tyres.
After the race, Daniel Ricciardo, who eventually finished in 4th position, told Sky Sports that “Vettel didn’t deserve to be on the podium”
“I felt that Seb did what everyone’s being complaining about lately, under-braking. He doesn’t deserve to be on the podium”
There was also late drama for Nico Hulkenberg, as he lost control in what proved to be a difficult track condition on the day.
The Williams pair will be disappointed with their final positions following an impressive weekend. Valtteri Bottas finishing in 8th after 71 laps, despite reaching 5th at one point in the race.
Brit Jolyon Palmer’s 14th placed finish will be good reading for Renault, as there is growing speculation if Palmer will continue for the 17-18 season.
However, it was a disappointing day for young German Pascal Wehrlein, The Manor driver made it into Q2 on Saturday but crashed at the start of the race following a tap from Esteban Gutierrez.