Verstappen makes history in Mexico without options for Sainz

The one from Red Bull achieves a record of 14 victories this season

Fernando Alonso retired six laps from the end


The Dutch Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen (Red Bull) achieved his fourteenth victory of the season by winning the Mexican Grand Prix this Sunday, a placid victory with a better strategy than the Mercedes and without opposition from Ferrari, with the Spanish Carlos Sainz fifth and the abandonment of Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

Verstappen, world champion three weeks ago in Suzuka, still wanted more and at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez he won again like last year and made history in the World Championship. The one from Red Bull achieved the record for wins in a season, with Lewis Hamilton, second, and the local idol Sergio Pérez, third and the world runner-up now closer.

The race went to a stop at the end, Mercedes returned with hard rubber and the rest of the top with medium. The Silver Arrows hoped that the others would suffer in the end, but it didn’t. Verstappen won placidly and Pérez (Red Bull) held off George Russell.

Meanwhile, after two withdrawals –Japan and the United States–, Sainz was in no man’s land, ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc, but without options to fight for victory until he finished fifth. Things were worse for Alonso, the first of the mortals once again until he broke the engine and left six laps from the end, after a few more losing power.

The Mexican appointment was a game of strategies, with the stops and the tires, within a few minimal differences between the contenders for victory. Ferrari was not among them since an orderly start that left them behind the Red Bull and the Mercedes. Verstappen kept the lead ahead of Hamilton but was unable to open a gap despite having softer rubber.

From behind, Sergio Pérez won the game over George Russell, while Sainz had to hold the long way to the first corner to his partner Leclerc in parallel. An oasis in the middle, Alonso was seventh, after gaining two positions at the start.

With the train more or less formed, it was time to wait for the response of the tires to choose a strategy. Pérez was the first to pit, a regular stop for the Austrian team, and Verstappen followed after complaining a lot about wear and tear. Hamilton endured it even longer and played it on his return with a hard tire that he was not happy about on the radio.

The different plays did not change the scenario, although to clear up the doubt they had to wait for the last laps. Verstappen pampered his tire and extended the rent for the last third of the race ahead of a Hamilton who could not find any improvement, with Pérez stuck. Behind, Russell’s Mercedes and, without the pace to fight for victory, the Ferraris.

Hamilton became nervous and his engineer asked him to calm down, but the Red Bull’s downturn did not come. The champion won unopposed, a victory that Mercedes still hasn’t enjoyed in 2022, and Checo Pérez also defended his second consecutive podium finish at home. He also did not change the race with the virtual safety car of Alonso’s retirement, the fifth of the season, after gradually giving way.

The double world champion lost seventh place and more without remedy and, six laps from the end, the engine sounded broken, with smoke coming out. “What a season, what a season,” repeated the Spaniard, frustrated when he got out of the car. Esteban Ocon’s Alpine finished eighth, but sandwiched by the two McLarens, in the fight for fourth place in the Constructors’ World Championship.