Max Verstappen continues to break records in 2023 after taking his 5th win in Mexico City this weekend. His third win in a row at this circuit.Embed from Getty Images
The reigning champion took his record 16th victory of the season, breaking his own record of 15 wins the previous year.
Going into this weekend, Verstappen was the favourite for the race win, but it was Ferrari who shocked the F1 paddock with a surprise front low lockout. It was Charles Leclerc who took his 22nd career pole and his second pole in the space of a week. He was closely followed by teammate Carlos Sainz with Verstappen in third less than a tenth off pole.
However, it was the race start that was the main talking point. Home favourite Sergio Perez made a great launch off the line and took advantage of the slipstream on the long run to turn 1. As a result, both Red Bulls were three wide with Leclerc, but the outcome was one of heartbreak for the adoring Mexican fans. Perez squeezed Leclerc into the first corner got tagged by the Ferrari and was sent spinning round to end his race on the first lap.
Verstappen returned to his familiar territory at the front of the field and managed to pull a 4-second lead to Leclerc. By the first round of stops, it seemed that Red Bull were looking at a 2 stop race after Verstappen’s early stop on lap 15. Ferrari and Mercedes looked to go the other way with Sainz, Leclerc and Hamilton extending their stints to make a one-stop work.Embed from Getty Images
However, those plans were ground to a halt with Kevin Magnussen having a huge shunt on lap 35 after his right rear suspension failed in spectacular fashion. This eventually brought out a Safety Car and a red flag which restarted the race. This red flag allowed everyone to have a fresh set of tyres for the race restart.
There wasn’t a repeat of the first start as Verstappen managed to retain the lead going into the first corner ahead of Leclerc and Hamilton close behind on medium tyres.
Speaking of Hamilton, he pulled off a brilliant move down the main straight after a close squeeze near the grass to move into second place. A great bounce back from the disqualification after last week’s race in Texas and closes the gap again to Perez to just 20 points.Embed from Getty Images
Honourable mentions go to Lando Norris for recovering from P17 to P5 with impressive pace after the red flag restart.
Another great mention is Daniel Ricciardo have his best performance since his return earlier this year challenging George Russell late into the race for a P7 finish. A crucial result for Alpha Tauri as they desperately fight Alfa Romeo and Haas for P8 in the Constructor’s Championship.
Verstappen lifted his 16th winner’s trophy this season with Hamilton finishing second and Leclerc claiming the final podium spot. Verstappen continues to raise the bar this season and showing no signs of stopping anytime soon as he continues to etch his name amongst the greats.