Max Verstappen scored a dominant victory at the 2023 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix, taking the lead at the start of the race to finish ahead of Lewis Hamilton, as he sealed his fifth win at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – and his 16th victory of the season.
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Verstappen lined up in third but made a phenomenal start using the tow from pole-sitter Charles Leclerc as he took the lead into Turn 1. However, at the same corner, Leclerc collided with the fast-starting Sergio Perez, knocking the home favourite out of the race.
Leclerc was in second ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz when Kevin Magnussen crashed into the barrier at Turn 8 halfway through. The Dane was okay as he jumped out of the car, but the resulting damage to his car and the barrier forced the red flags to be waved.
At the subsequent restart, Verstappen kept a hold of the lead, with Hamilton – on the mediums – overtaking Leclerc for second a few laps later. The Briton held on to the position, with Leclerc taking the final spot on the podium ahead of Sainz.
Lando Norris had an outstanding recovery drive from 17th on the grid, as he overtook George Russell late in the affair to take fifth place. The Mercedes driver then held off the late charge of Daniel Ricciardo, who marked an impressive weekend for him and AlphaTauri to take seventh.
The other McLaren of Oscar Piastri survived a collision with Yuki Tsunoda to finish eighth. He took the chequered flag ahead of Alex Albon, who continued to impress for Williams, with Esteban Ocon overtaking Nico Hulkenberg late in the piece to take 10th for Alpine.
Pierre Gasly followed home his Alpine teammate in 11th, ahead of the AlphaTauri of Tsunoda – who recovered from his collision with Piastri to finish 12th – and the Haas of Hulkenberg.
Valtteri Bottas, who is under investigation for colliding with Stroll in the stadium section, finished 14th ahead of his Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou Guanyu in 15th – who was the last of the remaining runners.
Logan Sargeant retired on his final lap, and he was amongst five other drivers who failed to see the chequered flag. The others were Stroll, Magnussen, Fernando Alonso, and home favourite Perez.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
As always, since Formula 1 returned to Mexico, the atmosphere at this race was amazing, despite the premature retirement of crowd favourite Sergio Perez. On the tyre front, we saw how track evolution and higher temperatures led to the C4 emerging as the most effective compound overall. That was particularly evident after the restart when those who went for the aggressive choice of fitting the Medium were able to make the most of it when they could attack with it without the lap times dropping off towards the end, as we saw with Hamilton and Norris, for example.
Verstappen’s superiority meant he could choose what he wanted to do in terms of stops, and the Safety Car meant he made his second pit stop without losing position, given that his rivals were just making their scheduled stops. As is often the case with a driver on top form, luck seems to want to help him out still further.
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
The race was run in the highest temperatures seen all weekend, the track being at 52 °C at the start, dropping to 45 °C at the end. As expected, almost all the drivers chose to start on the Medium tyre, the exceptions being Ocon (Hard), Albon (Hard) and Norris (Soft). Once the race had settled down after the battles shortly after the start, the first part of the race saw the drivers pay close attention to managing their tyres and cars. This applied to those who had definitely opted for a one-stop race as well as those keeping their options open to go for a two-stop, especially among the leaders.
The Safety Car and the red flag that followed because of Magnussen’s crash made it more complicated to determine which would be the quickest strategy, also because the race was now practically divided into two parts. The track condition improved significantly compared to the start of the weekend, and this meant that the graining effect diminished progressively.
The Sao Paulo Grand Prix takes place from 3 to 5 November at the famous Interlagos circuit. There the teams will have the choice of the following compounds: the C2 as P Zero White hard, the C3 as P Zero Yellow medium and the C4 as P Zero Red soft. The Brazilian weekend is also the final one of the season run to the Sprint format, with qualifying for the race on Friday afternoon and Saturday given over entirely to the Shootout and Sprint.
2023 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:35:21.362||25||466|
|DQ||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+2.225s||0||201|
|2.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+10.730s||18||159|
|3.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+15.134s||15||171|
|4.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+18.460s||12||240|
|DQ||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+24.662s||0||151|
|5.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+24.999s||10||143|
|6.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||+47.996s||8||56|
|7.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+48.696s||6||53|
|8.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+74.385s||5||8|
|9.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+86.714s||2||25|
|10.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||+87.998s||1||1|
|11.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+89.904s||0||9|
|12.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+98.601s||0||10|
|13.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||6|
|14.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||3|
|15.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||0|
|NC||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+49.032s||DNF||183|
|NC||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+4.833s||DNF||83|
|NC||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+62.390s||DNF||44|
2023 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||731|
|2.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||371|
|5.||Aston Martin F1 Team||236|
|6.||Alpine F1 Team||101|
|9.||Alfa Romeo Racing||16|
|10.||Haas F1 Team||12|