Grand Prix of Mexico – Race


Verstappen shot himself in the foot after Qualifying – the stewards didn’t seem to be investigating his last lap but in the interview he was asked if he knew BOT had crashed; VER said yes, and that the next question asking if he lifted, to which he said (something like) doesn’t look like I did … and with that, he was penalised 3 places, making it an all-Ferrari front row.

BOT was lucky to escape that accident with no injury and doubly lucky that his mechanics could rebuild the car without incurring a penalty.

Grid: LEC, VET, HAM, VER, ALB, BOT, SAI, NOR, KVY, GAS, PER, HUL, RIC, RAI, GIO, STR, MAG, GRO, RUS, KUB

LEC says there’s “no deal” between him and VET so it should be a good battle from the start down to Turn 1.

On the way to the grid, ALB was behind someone who was dropping oil! (They don’t go in any particular order so it’s not easy to find out who that might have been)

Air temp 23°C; track 40°C; 20% chance of rain; 47% humidity

LEC leads everyone away on the formation lap
VET warming his tyres a lot more than LEC

01/71: Clean start and everyone through Turn 1
HAM and VER battling hard; both run wide; giving up places to ALB and SAI
VSC deployed

02[VSC]: LEC, VET, ALB, SAI, HAM, NOR, BOT, VER, KVY, GAS, PER, RIC, HUL, STR, GIO, RAI, MAG, KUB, RUS, GRO
VSC ending

03: Incident involving VET and HAM under investigation

04: HAM past SAI for P4
NOR defending P6 from BOT
VER sneaks past BOT to take P7

05/71: HAM fastest lap 1:21,275
BOT reclaims P7 from VER
VER has a puncture
VER runs wide; tyre carcass escapes from the wheel

06: BOT takes P6 from NOR
VER pits; hard tyres go on

07: LEC, VET, ALB, HAM, SAI, BOT, NOR, KVY, PER, GAS, RIC, HUL, STR, GIO, RAI, MAG, KUB, RUS, GRO, VER

09: VER f/lap but he’s 24sec behind GRO

10/71: PER inside KVY to take P8, much to the crowd’s delight

11: KVY pits

13: NOR pits; the front left wasn’t on properly when they released him; he stopped before the pit line so the mechanics can push him back

15/71: ALB pits from P3; mediums go on, so he’s 2-stopping; rejoins P5 but SAI immediately passes him

16: LEC pits; mediums; rejoins P4
SAI and RAI pit

17: NOR under investigation for unsafe release – that shouldn’t take much effort

18: LEC f/lap 1:20.446

20/71: VET, HAM, BOT, LEC, ALB, PER, RIC, STR, GIO, MAG, KVY, SAI, HUL, GAS, VER, RAI, KUB, RUS, GRO, NOR

21: PER pits from P7; hards tyres go on; rejoins P10

22: SAI up to P11; GIO pits, so SAI now P10
GIO’s pit is a mess – right rear not attached but he only moved a few feet before he stopped and the team could have a second attempt

24: MAG pits; hard tyres; rejoins P4
Radio for VET telling him to pit; VET says he’s ok to keep going

25/71: VET doesn’t pit
VET, BOT, LEC, HAM, ALB, RIC, STR, PER, KVY, SAI
VER takes P12 from GAS
KUB blocks HAM despite blue flags

26: HAM f/lap 1:19.926

27: Radio for LEC telling him to push

28: VER takes P11 from HUL

29: Radio from HAM, “Feels like we stopped way too early”

30/71: VET, BOT, LEC, HAM, ALB, RIC, STR, PER, KVY, SAI, VER, HUL, GAS, RAI, GIO, GRO, MAG, KUB, RUS, NOR

31: VER takes P10 from SAI … but runs a bit wide and SAI fights back; VER hangs on to P10
HUL past SAI too

34: SAI has his hands full defending P12 from GAS

35/71: VET, BOT, LEC, HAM, ALB, RIC, STR, PER, KVY, VER, HUL, SAI, GAS, RAI, GIO, MAG, GRO, KUB, RUS, NOR
SAI still holding off GAS

Half distance

36: GAS takes P12 from SAI, but then VET nearly runs into the rear of SAI

37: BOT pits from P2; rejoins P5
Radio for VET telling him “mode box, mode box” … but VET ignored the call last time

38: VET pits; hard tyres; rejoins P3
VER inside KVY for P8

39: LEC (P1) and ALB (P3) have to stop again; from HAM’s radio messages, it sounds like he wants to too

40/71: VET f/lap 1:19.817

41: VER closing on PER – that’ll be unpopular

43: VER takes P7 from local boy PER
Ferrari mechanics getting ready

44: LEC pits; hard tyres go on, but there’s a problem with the rear right; rejoins P5, 10secs behind BOT

45/71: ALB pits from P2; hard tyres go on; rejoins PP5

47: HAM 2.5sec ahead of VET; no time for a stop but VET, BOT and LEC are on newer tyres and will catch him before too long

49: ALB f/lap 1:19.325

50/71: HAM, VET, BOT, LEC, ALB, RIC, VER, PER, HUL, STR, GAS, KVY, RAI, SAI, GIO, MAG, KUB, RUS, GRO, NOR
RIC has yet to pit – the hard tyres are forecast (by Pirelli) to last 50 laps so presumably he’ll stop soon

51: RIC pits; mediums go on; rejoins P8
NOR pits; retires

52: BOT closing up on VET

56: BOT within DRS range of VET

57: LEC catching up to the VET-BOT battle

59: LEC locks his front-left; drops back a little

60/71: HAM, VET, BOT, LEC, ALB, VER, PER, RIC, HUL, STR, KVY, GAS, SAI, GIO, RAI, MAG, KUB, RUS, GRO
RAI pits; retires

61: RIC attacking PER

62:RIC attacks; locks up; runs wide; rejoins just behind PER

63: Radio for HAM – “we have max power available if you need it”

65/71: HAM, VET, BOT, LEC, ALB, VER, PER, RIC, HUL, KVY, GAS, STR, SAI, GIO, MAG, RUS, GRO, KUB; retirements: RAI, NOR

67 = 5 laps left: Will ALB stop for soft tyres to set fastest lap? He’s got the biggest gap

69: RIC closing on PER again

70/71: No-one pitting, so LEC might hang on to f/lap

71 = final lap: Radio for HAM, “One to go”; “Leave me to it mate!”
Yeah, but maybe that’s a reminder in case someone messes up the chequered flag again 🙂

HAM takes the flag – Mercedes’ 100th F1 win!
KVY tags HUL on the final turn; HUL into the wall
Time for some doughnuts 🙂
Incident involving HUL & KVY under investigation

Provisional result: HAM, VET, BOT, LEC, ALB, VER, PER, RIC, KVY*, GAS; HUL, STR, SAI, GIO, MAG, RUS, GRO, KUB
DNF: RAI, NOR
Fastest lap = LEC
*KVY is likely to get a penalty for punting HUL into the wall on the last lap
Yes, KVY has been given a 10-sec penalty, so he drops to P11 and out of the points [FIA]
Updated result: HAM, VET, BOT, LEC, ALB, VER, PER, RIC, GAS, HUL

Very neat to see HAM and car rising up to the podium! [video]

Just 3 races left of this season: USA next weekend, then Brazil (Nov15-17) and Abu Dhabi (Nov29-Dec01).