Mexico Grand Prix Victory Edges Lewis Hamilton Closer To Championship Title

2019 Mexico Grand Prix Podium,

Lewis Hamilton is slowly homing in on a sixth world championship title, but he had to work for victory at the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix. The Mercedes were not the quickest cars throughout the weekend but Sunday is when the points are won and lost. But it looked over from the start for Hamilton. Starting third on the grid behind a Ferrari front-row lockout Hamilton was squeezed onto the grass verge by Sebastian Vettel as the Mercedes looked set to out drag the Ferrari going into to turn one. Hamilton’s momentum was lost and this set up a first corner battle with Verstappen. Nothing is ever straight forward when going wheel to wheel with Verstappen. Contact is often the accepted norm. Inevitably the two made contact and exited over the grass, as a result, Hamilton Mercedes picked up floor damages and both lost position.

2019 Mexico Grand Prix race start

Hamilton dropped down to fifth and it seemed as though the race had already concluded into a Ferrari 1-2 finish. Meanwhile, Verstappen had another encounter this time with Bottas. And this second fight for position would end up being the nail in Verstappen’s Sunday race. Verstappen again made contact, the collision with Bottas though slight caused a tyre to puncture. Meanwhile, the Ferraris powered on ahead with Leclerc leading and Vettel a close second.

Seven laps in and the race settled into a rhythm. Alex Albon kept his Red Bull Honda nose clean and was securely in third. Albon was showing good pace, able to keep the Ferraris within a few seconds. Indeed the Red Bull was the fastest package in Mexico, in Verstappen’s hands, it was a race-winning combination. But Verstappen was falling down the order as he made his way back to the pits on three wheels.

2019 Mexico Grand Prix, Hamilton grass cutting

Hamilton by now had made it back to fourth and as the race progressed was able to keep within watching distance of the Ferraris and Red Bull ahead of him. But Mercedes decided to pit Hamilton early and switched from the mediums to hard tyres for a majority of the race. This meant Hamilton spent 48 out of 72 laps on the hard compound tyre.

Despite the damaged floor which unsettled the aerodynamic stability of the Mercedes Hamilton somehow managed his tyres to the extent that he negated the advantage of those who opted to stop twice. Vettel finished 2nd followed by early race leader and teammate, Charles Leclerc. Leclerc fell victim to a botched pit stop which cost him time. Alex Albon finished 5th with Max Verstappen in a recovery drive 6th.

2019 Mexico Grand Prix Selfie guy

The race had Red Bull victory written all over it on Saturday however Verstappen was demoted from pole position after ignoring yellow flags in qualifying. That all but handed the race to Ferrari, but in the end and despite the damage, the slowest car won.  It still doesn’t make any sense, but when you have Lewis Hamilton the impossible becomes possible.

2019 Mexico Grand Prix Race Results:
Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 71 1:36:48.904 25
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 71 +1.766s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 71 +3.553s 15
4 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 71 +6.368s 13
5 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing Honda 71 +21.399s 10
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 71 +68.807s 8
7 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point BWT Mercedes 71 +73.819s 6
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 71 +74.924s 4
9 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 70 +1 lap 2
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 70 +1 lap 1
11 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 70 +1 lap 0
12 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point BWT Mercedes 70 +1 lap 0
13 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 70 +1 lap 0
14 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 70 +1 lap 0
15 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 69 +2 laps 0
16 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 69 +2 laps 0
17 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 69 +2 laps 0
18 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 69 +2 laps 0
NC 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 58 DNF 0
NC 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 48 DNF 0

Note – Kvyat received a post-race, 10-second time penalty after hitting the rear of Hulkenberg

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