Lewis Hamilton kept his title hopes alive after winning the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico on Sunday at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
The three-time World champion was dominant in the race. Starting from pole position, he got away at the start cleanly but ran wide at the first corner. That was all the trouble he would face, however, as he cruised from there to another routine win – his first in Mexico, second in as many weeks, eighth of the season and 51st overall of his career.
Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished as the runner-up to register the Silver Arrows’ sixth one-two of the season. Hamilton narrowed the gap between the pair as their fight for the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship continues. Only 19 points separate them with only two Grands Prix remaining in the season.
With the result, Hamilton drew level with Alain Prost for joint-second place on the list of all-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winners. Only Michael Schumacher lies ahead of them with 91 wins.
Hamilton took the chequered flag in a winning time of one hour 40 minutes 31.402 seconds, with Rosberg finishing 8.354 seconds behind.
Daniel Ricciardo claimed third place, although Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen had originally crossed the finish line in that position. But right before the podium ceremony, Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, which dropped him to fifth while promoting Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the podium.
Hours later, though, Ricciardo inherited third after Vettel was given a 10-second penalty for driving "dangerously or erratically while defending fourth place from Ricciardo in the final stages of the race.
The final classification, therefore, featured Ricciardo, Verstappen and Vettel completing the top five, in that order.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in seventh and Sergio Perez in 10th sandwiched the Williams tandem of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa who were eighth and ninth, respectively.
Following his win, Hamilton commented:
“This weekend I’ve had really good pace. The car felt really strong from start to finish – night and day compared to last year.
“I had a good start – but it’s such a long way down to Turn One that everyone just got the tow on me. The right front brake disc had glazed on the formation lap and I couldn’t un-glaze it. I thought it might be okay, but when I hit the brakes it just locked up as the temperature came up and I went flying across the grass. I was lucky to get across and rejoin on the other side of the track. Luckily, I got it under control and was cruising from quite early on.
“It’s kinda crazy to think I now have 51 wins. It’s a shame these results are coming so late in the season - possibly too late. You can look back at say that maybe if Malaysia didn’t happen then I’d be in a different position right now. But that’s motor racing. All I can do is my best and hope things go as they have done for the past two weekends.
“History has shown that it’s never too late – that’s why I keep pushing and doing everything I can to repeat weekends like this. I hadn’t won here before so it’s a great feeling to do that in front of this incredible crowd.
“Now my sights are fully set on Brazil. I’ve never won there either – but if I can take this kind of performance into the next weekend I’ll be in a good position. Ultimately, as long as I feel I did the best I could in these final races, I can be happy at the end of the season.”
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||20.858|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||21.323|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||58.891|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India||1'16.798|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||1 lap|
|12||Jenson Button||McLaren||1 lap|
|13||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||1 lap|
|14||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||1 lap|
|15||Felipe Nasr||Sauber||1 lap|
|16||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||1 lap|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||1 lap|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1 lap|
|19||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas||1 lap|
|20||Romain Grosjean||Haas||1 lap|
|21||Esteban Ocon||Manor||2 laps|
The 2016 Formula 1 season now heads to its penultimate round in Sao Paulo for the Formula 1 Grande Premio do Brasil 2016 on November 13.