Mexican GP: Magnificent return for F1

Much like Spectre is to Skyfall, the Mexican GP is a solid sequel to the US GP

Formula One on carriemathieson.com

This was a weekend that was a voyage of discovery for all, as Formula One finally returned to Mexico after 23 years to a changed, low grip, and extremely challenging track.

Nico Rosberg is the Mexican matador

Nico Rosberg dominated every session this weekend and, unlike last weekend, reaped the benefits with a dominant victory over his newly crowned team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton may not have been happy to have been made to pit on lap 49, handing back the lead he had gained from his team-mate’s pit stop, but ultimately he had no answer to his team-mate on track.

Valtteri Bottas did not have an uneventful race: Raikkonnen vs Bottas take two occurred on lap 22. Raikkonnen in this situation was in the lead, however did not leave his fellow Finn enough room on track, and this time round it was he who retired from the race. Bottas recovered to take a magnificent podium position he should have had last time he clashed with Kimi.

Ferrari and Alonso have race to forget

Following problems in qualifying, Kimi Raikkonnen had a 35 place grid penalty (but started second-to-last thanks to Jenson Button’s record-breaking 70 place grid penalty) but was working his way through the field fairly quickly before his incident with Bottas.

Vettel, who was tipped to take the fight to Mercedes this weekend, had an appalling start, coming together with former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, resulting in a puncture, before spinning off track having only just gained 12th position from Button and then crashing into the barriers on lap 52. Vettel was the only driver on the grid who had been classified in every race this season (although he had a race-ending puncture in Spa, he completed over 95% of the race distance meaning he was classified in the final results) and it was a shame to see this achievement come to such an end. Vettel now has it all to do to regain 2nd position in the Drivers’ Championship.

Fernando Alonso went to the grid knowing he had a terminal problem, but determined to put on a show for the fans who have welcomed him so warmly. He retired before lap 2.

Red Bull have a strong weekend

Despite Kvyat losing his podium-finishing position to Bottas after the Safety Car restart, Red Bull had a strong weekend following their difficult end to the US GP.

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Man of the match: Sergio Perez

Those cheers. No one else was going to even come close. Yes, he may have been well off another Russian-esque podium, but he pulled in another spectacular Perez-performance on those tyres, which were over 40 laps old at the end of the race and were managed to perfection by the Mexican.

Things that had us buzzing

  • The remaining two races have a lot to live up to: more of this, please!
  • Aston Martin may be returning as Force India’s new guise. Um, yes.
  • Max Verstappen.
  • FOM World Feed’s well-timed cut to Maldanado’s onboard camera, capturing his near-crash. You know something we don’t, FOM?
  • The baseball stadium amphitheatre: amazing! (mostly when Perez went through it…)
  • Organisers have a big case to answer: how can we possibly justify a 23-year draught from such an enthusiastic crowd? Mexico: we loved you!
  • Badger GP have created 17 Real Life Situations Summed Up By Nico Rosberg, and it’s amazing.

The Brazilian GP is in two weeks on 15th November before the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on 29th November.

Results

  1. Nico ROSBERG Mercedes AMG
  2. Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes AMG
  3. Valtteri BOTTAS Williams Racing
  4. Danill KVYAT Red Bull Racing
  5. Daniel RICCIARDO Red Bull Racing
  6. Felipe MASSA Williams Racing
  7. Nico HULKENBERG Force India
  8. Sergio PEREZ Force India
  9. Max VERSTAPPEN Toro Rosso
  10. Romain GROSJEAN Lotus
  11. Pastor MALDANADO Lotus
  12. Marcus ERICSSON Sauber
  13. Carlos SAINZ JR Toro Rosso
  14. Jenson BUTTON McLaren Honda
  15. Alexander ROSSI Manor Marussia
  16. Will STEVENS Manor Marussia

DNF: Felipe Nasr (Sauber); Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari); Fernando Alonso (McLaren Honda).

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