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F1 Mexican GP - Verstappen WINS in Chaotic Red-Flagged Race

Written by Owen Bradley

Credit: Mark Thompson


Formula One returned to Mexico City, a City which sinks into the ground each year, by 12cm. They have also sunken their money into F1, building a circuit which has played host to some very memorable moments. With Home Hero Sergio Perez looking to save his career, and Daniel Ricciardo looking to re-energise his, they are both currently fighting each other for that Second Red Bull seat.


Qualifying really did set up a race with a lot of exciting potential. the Top 3 separated by less than one tenth of a second, Daniel Ricciardo in P4 with the Alphatauri ahead of rival Sergio Perez.


1st Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

2nd Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

3rd Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

4th Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

5th Lando Norris, McLaren

6th George Russell, Mercedes

7th Daniel Ricciardo, Alphatauri

8th Oscar Piastri, McLaren

9th Alex Albon, Williams

10th Esteban Ocon, Alpine

11th Pierre Gasly, Alpine

12th Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

13th Logan Sargeant, Williams

14th Yuki Tsunoda, Alphatauri

15th Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

16th Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

DNF Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

DNF Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

DNF Kevin Magnussen, Haas

DNF Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing


Grand Prix

Credit: Mark Thompson


The race began with an absolutely extraordinary start from both Red Bull drivers, Verstappen managed to get a phenomenal jump off the line, leading as they went in to Turn One. But it was Sergio Perez, from P5, who flew right to the front, but just didn't quite leave enough space between Charles Leclerc, who was pinched between the two Red Bulls and Perez unfortunately ended up having massive damage to the suspension, and to his sidepods as well.


Eventually, with the field being neutralised by strategy and DRS trains, Kevin Magnussen's rear suspension would give up the metaphorical ghost, breaking and sending the Haas into the barriers at Turn 9. This caused heavy damage to the outside barrier, and eventually brought out a Red Flag


RED FLAG

Credit: Jared C. Tilton


The Red Flag neutralised all strategy options and advantages that Ferrari had over Verstappen. Verstappen seemingly was going for the one-stop but more likely, the two-stop strategy, whereas Ferrari had initially been committed to the one-stop.


Unfortunate to see, with Perez retiring from the race, many of the 400,000 Mexican fans began leaving their seats in the grandstands, certainly not what the Mexican crowd wanted.


Re-Start


The restart began completely differently from the actual start of the Grand Prix, this time far more calm at least on the race start.


Verstappen managed to ride off into the distance once again, pulling out a 10-second lead from Lewis Hamilton, who opted to try and go to the end on the Medium Compound tyres, with the Ferrari's around him, on the Hards. Ferrari playing the long game with both Mercedes cars, who were both in fact on those Medium tyres.


Piastri and Tsunoda would eventually make contact at Turn One, sending Tsunoda around and then straight back to the bottom of the field.


McLaren would swap Piastri over with Norris, very likely that Piastri had damage. Norris eventually fought Ricciardo for P6, and was catching up to George Russell as well with just under 10 laps remaining.


Ricciardo would attack Russell on the final lap of the race, not quite being able to carry through to take 6th off Russell in the end.

Credit: Mark Thompson


Verstappen came home though, to take his 16th win of 2023, matching the most wins in a single season, set by Verstappen himself in 2022, with 16 as well. It is his 51st Grand Prix victory, now only two wins off Sebastian Vettel's career total. Verstappen is only 26 years old.


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