Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen extended his lead in the 2021 Formula One World Championship on Sunday with a decisive win at the Mexico City Grand Prix, formerly the Mexican Grand Prix.
Starting from the second row, Verstappen made a brilliant move on the outside going into Turn 1 to take over Mercedes-Benz AMG's Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who started at pole and second place, respectively.
Verstappen was never unsettled from there and comfortably took the win, with Hamilton eventually crossing the line in second place some 16 seconds behind after managing to hold off local hero Sergio Perez. The fellow Red Bull driver finished in third place, some 17 seconds behind his teammate.
Verstappen took advantage of the slipstream of the Mercedes drivers ahead at the start of the race and then braked late going into Turn 1 to jump his rivals. Disaster then struck for Bottas who was nudged into a spin by McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo into Turn 2, causing plenty of chaos in the back and the safety car to emerge. AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was also eliminated on the first lap after contact with Alpine's Esteban Ocon.
Mercedes-Benz AMG's Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Formula One Mexico City Grand Prix
The race then restarted on lap five, with Bottas dropped to the back of the pack. Verstappen led the restart ahead of Hamilton and Perez, and maintained the lead. He would eventually end up leading for 65 of the race's 71 laps, only relinquishing it briefly to Perez following a pit stop. Verstappen then resumed the lead when Perez made his own pit stop. On fresh tires, Perez then fought hard to overtake Hamilton in an attempt to make it a Red Bull one-two finish, closing the gap to just a second by lap 60, but Hamilton held on to second place and Perez had to settle for third by the end.
Behind them, there was a good battle between Ferrari and AlphaTauri, with Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz challenging AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly for fourth. Gasly successfully held them off to claim fourth, with Leclerc finishing fifth and Sainz sixth.
Following the weekend's action, Verstappen was able to boost his tally in the 2021 Drivers' Championship to 312.5 points. Reigning champion Hamilton is second with 293.5 points and Bottas is third with 185 points. The title chase in the Constructors' Championship is also very much alive, with Mercedes in the lead with 478.5 points and Red Bull close behind with 477.5 points. Ferrari is a distant third with 268.5 points.
The next race on the calendar is the Brazilian Grand Prix on this weekend.
2021 Formula One Mexico City Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2021 Formula One Mexico City Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +16.555 seconds
3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +17.752 seconds
4) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +63.845 seconds
5) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +81.037 seconds
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +1 lap
7) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +1 lap
8) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
9) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +1 lap
10) Lando Norris, McLaren +1 lap
11) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
12) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +1 lap
13) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +1 lap
14) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +2 laps
15) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz AMG +2 laps
16) George Russell, Williams +2 laps
17) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +2 laps
18) Nikita Mazepin, Haas +3 laps
NC) Mick Schumacher, Haas DNF
NC) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri DNF