Verstappen cruises to record-breaking 14th victory of season in Mexico

Hamilton 2nd, Perez 3rd

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By Franck Drui

30 October 2022 - 22:57
Verstappen cruises to record-breaking

Max Verstappen cruised to a record-breaking Mexico City Grand Prix win ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez, with the Dutch driver delivering a flawless drive to the flag from pole during which he only ceded the lead during the leaders’ sole pit stop phase.

The 2022 champion’s Mexico win is his 14th of the campaign, handing him a new record for most wins in a single season ahead of fellow greats Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel who won 13 in 2004 and 2013 respectively.

At the race start, Verstappen got away well on soft compound tyres to take the lead ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Hamilton who both started on medium tyres. As the Mercedes pair jockeyed for position in the first corners, Russell went wide in Turn 3. That gave Pérez the chance to attack Russell and passed the Mercedes driver in Turn 3 to take third place.

At the front, Verstappen settled into the first stint. He was shadowed throughout by Hamilton, however, and the pit stop window opened for the soft tyre starters the Mercedes driver was just 2.3s behind the Red Bull driver.

Pérez was the first of the front runners to pit on lap 24, and he took on medium tyres. There was a problem fitting the rear left, however, and after 5.0s stationary he got away and rejoined behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in P6.

Verstappen, complaining that his front-left tyre was dead, pitted at the end of lap 25 and after a 2.5s stop to switch to medium tyres he rejoined ahead of Sainz in third and began to hunt down Hamilton and Russell who now held the top two positions on their starting medium tyres.

Hamilton made his first stop on lap 29 switching to hard compound Pirelli tyres as he targeted a run to the chequered flag, and he dropped to third behind Verstappen. Pérez then inherited fourth place when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz pitted at the end of the next lap and Mercedes brought Russell in for his sole stop at the end of lap 34. After switching to hard tyres Russell rejoined in fourth place, seven seconds behind Pérez.

The final stint then became a tactical battle, with the Red Bull pair looking to nurse their medium tyres to the flag, while Mercedes banked on the durability of the hard tyres to give them a late advantage.

The advantage didn’t materialise, however, and Verstappen and Pérez managed the pace well to the flag, with Verstappen building a 12-second gap to Hamilton, while Pérez found himself four seconds clear of Russell.

That gap stretched further when Alpine’s Fernando Alonso steered off track with an engine issue on lap 66 and following a brief VSC period Verstappen stretched to 14 seconds clear. And after 71 laps he crossed the line with 15.1 seconds in hand to claim his record-breaking 14th win.

Pos.DriverCarGapPit
01 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 71 laps - 1h38m36.729s 1
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 +15.186 1
03 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 +18.097 1
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 +49.431 2
05 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 +58.123 1
06 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 +68.774 1
07 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 +1 lap 1
08 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 +1 lap 1
09 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 +1 lap 1
10 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 +1 lap 1
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 +1 lap 1
12 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 +1 lap 1
13 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 +1 lap 1
14 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 +1 lap 1
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 +1 lap 2
16 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 +1 lap 1
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 +1 lap 1
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 +2 laps 2
19 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 DNF 1
20 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 DNF 2

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