Hamilton has won the Mexican Grand Prix, but the wait for his sixth Formula 1 world championship title is on hold for at least another week as Mercedes teammate Bottas finished on the podium. Sebastian Vettel, who led for the majority of the race, finished second as his younger hard tyres couldn’t help him catch Hamilton.
Max Verstappen’s frustrations from his grid penalty only grew bigger as a tangle with Hamilton on the opening corner of the race pushed him onto the grass. When the Dutchman returned to the track, he touched with Bottas which caused a puncture for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver.
Charles Leclerc had a quiet race and finished fourth. Alex Albon rounded out the top five as Verstappen’s Red Bull was strong enough to climb through the field to finish sixth.
Home favourite Sergio Perez had a positive race as he fought off a charging Daniel Ricciardo in the final 10 laps to pick up the best of the rest position.
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he gives Max Verstappen “extra space” when the two come race together on track. The Mercedes driver won Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, but not without a tangle with Verstappen in the opening corner. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver tried to pass Hamilton, but the two drivers got in each others way and had to travel across the grass.
Sebastian Vettel also admitted he gives Verstappen extra room when racing against the 22-year-old. In the press conference following the race, Hamilton was asked directly if he treats Verstappen differently to other drivers. Hamilton reacted with a blunt “yep”.
Title battle permutations
Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix but he failed to outscore Valtteri Bottas by 14 points meaning the championship battle will roll on to the United States Grand Prix weekend. Bottas’ podium finish was just enough to delay the celebrations.
Formula 1 will have fast turn around with just a seven-day wait until the lights go out again. For Bottas to keep his slim hopes alive, the Finnish driver needs to win the United States Grand Prix.
If Bottas wins the race and picks up the fastest bonus point, Hamilton will need to finish in 8th or above to be crowned F1 world champion in 2019. A 9th place finish or below means that the title battle will roll on into the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.
Even if Bottas comes 2nd or 3rd, Hamilton will be crowned champion. This counts even if the British driver fails to score a point.