June 3, 2023

The Mexican Grand Prix was won by Max Verstappen, who set a new record in the process. He finished ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez.

The Dutch driver delivered a flawless drive to the checkered flag from pole position, and the only time he gave up the lead was during the leaders’ sole pit stop phase.

As a result of the 2022 champion’s victory in Mexico, he now holds the record for the most victories in a single season with 14, surpassing the previous record held by fellow greats Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who both won 13 races in their respective seasons of 2004 and 2013.

At the beginning of the race, Verstappen had a strong start on soft compound tires, which allowed him to grab the lead ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Hamilton, who both started the race on medium tires. At the same time that the two Mercedes drivers were vying for position in the first few corners, Russell drove wide at Turn 3. This opened the door for Pérez to launch an attack on Russell, and he was able to get ahead of the Mercedes driver at Turn 3 to claim third place.

In the lead position, Verstappen calmed down and began his first stint. Throughout the race, Hamilton kept a close eye on him, and when the window for pit stops opened for drivers starting on soft tires, the Mercedes driver was only 2.3 seconds behind the Red Bull driver.

On lap 24, Pérez was the first of the front-running drivers to make a pit stop, and he changed to medium-sized tires. However, there was one issue with fitting the rear left, and after 5.0 seconds of standing still, he was able to get away and resume the race behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in position 6.

After complaining that his front-left tyre was dead, Verstappen pulled into the pits at the end of lap 25. After a stop of 2.5 seconds to switch to medium tyres, he rejoined ahead of Sainz in third place and started hunting down Hamilton and Russell, who were now in first and second place, respectively, on their starting medium tyres.

On lap 29, Hamilton made his first pit stop, switching to hard compound Pirelli tyres in preparation for a run to the checkered flag. However, as a result of this stop, Hamilton fell to third place, behind Verstappen. As that, Pérez moved up to fourth place after the Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz made his pit stop at the conclusion of the following lap and the Mercedes driver George Russell made his one and only stop at the end of lap 34. Russell regained fourth place in the race after swapping to hard tyres, which put him seven seconds behind Pérez.

After that, the final lap turned into a fight of strategy, with the two Red Bull drivers attempting to make it to the finish line on their medium tyres while Mercedes gambled that their hard tyres would give them an advantage in the closing stages of the race.

The advantage, however, did not materialize, as both Verstappen and Pérez handled the pace well all the way to the finish line. Verstappen built a 12-second cushion to Hamilton, and Pérez found himself four seconds ahead of Russell at the end of the race.

On lap 66, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso veered off track with an engine trouble, which allowed that margin to widen even further. After a brief period of VSC, Verstappen extended his lead to 14 seconds clear of the second-place driver. In addition, he finished the race with 71 laps completed and a lead of 15.1 seconds to claim his record-breaking 14th victory.

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