Mexican GP 2022

OCTOBER 30, 2022

Race Notes - Verstappen wins his 14th win of the season

Max Verstappen, Mexican GP 2022
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix in his Red Bull, taking his 14th win in a season, a new record. Lewis Hamilton finished in second place in his Mercedes GP, 15.186 seconds behind the winner. Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull took third place in his home race, 18.097 seconds behind.

Red Bull now has won 16 races out of the 20 contested so far, with two races remaining.

Perez moves to second in the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Leclerc.

Hamilton scored his 190th podium finish, and moved into fifth in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of Sainz.

George Russell (49.431s) in the second Mercedes finished fourth, followed by Carlos Sainz (58.123s) in the Ferrari was fifth, his team mate Charles Leclerc was sixth, Daniel Ricciardo (1 lap), with a 10-second penalty in the McLaren-Mercedes was seventh, Esteban Ocon in the Alpine-Renault was eighth, Lando Norris in the second McLaren was ninth and Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo-Ferrari took the final point in tenth place.

Before the start, with a huge crowd at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, and a very warm day, Verstappen is on pole with Russell alongside on the front row, Hamilton and Perez on row two, Sainz and Bottas on row three, Leclerc and Norris on row four, and Alonso and Ocon rounding out the top ten.

Vettel is wearing a helmet livery design from when he was first signed by Red Bull, in tribute for the late Dietrich Mateschitz.

The quickest tyre strategy is two-stopper starting on softs, and then switching to medium tyres for the rest of the way.

Verstappen starting on soft tyres, Russell and Hamilton on medium, Perez, Sainz and Leclerc pm soft tyres and the rest of the top twelve runners on medium tyres.

At the appointed time the grid cleared, the drivers made their formation lap and lined up on the grid, the lights went out and the race began with Verstappen gets a good start with Hamilton getting into second after the first turn. Perez in third ahead of Russell, Sainz, Leclerc, Alonso, Bottas, Ocon and Norris in tenth.

After one lap Verstappen has a 1.3 second lead on Hamilton.

On lap 3 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m23.079s.

On lap 5 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m23.063s, and trails Verstappen by 1.1 seconds.

Bottas is chasing closely behind Alonso in seventh.

On lap 9 Ricciardo passes Zhou for 12th place.

At lap 10 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 1.5 seconds, followed by Perez (3.8s), Russell (6.0s), Sainz (10.5s), Leclerc (12.7s), Alonso (18.7s), Bottas (19.7s), Ocon (22.0s) and Norris (23.7s) in tenth place.

Stroll complains that he is sliding around on his medium tyres.

On lap 12 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m23.047s.

On lap 13 Gasly passes Stroll for 15th place. Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m23,040s.

Red Bull is urging Verstappen to find a way to break Hamilton’s tow.

Albon is looking for a way past Stroll in 16th.

On lap 15 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m22.971s.

Verstappen tells Red Bull that "I'm struggling a lot with the bouncing, it's difficult to ride the kerbs.”

The stewards give Gasly a 5-second penalty for forcing

On lap 18 Stroll pits to switch from medium to soft tyres and rejoins in 20th place.

At lap 20 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.0 seconds, followed by Perez (5.8s), Russell (7.6s), Sainz (18.5s), Leclerc (22.9s), Alonso (30.7s), Bottas (32.7s), Ocon (35.8s) and Norris (37.9s) in tenth place.

Verstappen tells Red Bull “the tyres are starting to struggle.”, and “the left front tyre does not want to turn.”

On lap 24 Perez pits from third and switches to medium tyres and rejoins sixth.

On lap 25 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 1.6 seconds.

Hamilton tells Mercedes, "my tyres are okay."

Verstappen reports, “my left front tyre is dead."

On lap 25 Perez sets fast lap at 1m21.995s.

On lap 26 Verstappen pits and takes medium tyres and rejoins third behind Russell.

On lap 27 Perez passes Leclerc in DRS for fifth place.

Verstappen reports that he is not happy with the shifts on his Red Bull.

On lap 28 Leclerc pits for medium tyres and rejoins in 12th.

On lap 29 Hamilton pits for hard tyres and rejoins in third behind Verstappen. Russell takes the lead.

On lap 30 Perez sets fast lap at 1m21.775s.

At lap 30 Russell leads Verstappen by 11.1s, followed by Hamilton (17.8s), Perez (19.7s), Alonso (33.6s), Bottas (36.4s), Ocon (41.2s), Sainz (44.1s), Leclerc (47.5s) and Ricciardo (50.9s) in tenth place.

Norris pitts for hard tyres and rejoins 15th.

Russell perhaps trying to run long and switch to a soft tyre for the final stint.

On lap 34 Ocon pits for hard tyres and rejoins 13th.

On lap 35 Russell pits for hard tyres and rejoins in fourth behind Perez.

Hamilton tells the team, “this tyre is not as good as the medium”.

On lap 39 Sainz passes Botas for sixth. Vettel makes his first stop from soft to medium tyres.

Bottas pits for hard tyres and rejoins tenth. Sainz passes Alonso for fifth. Alonso pits for hard tyres and rejoins eighth.

On lap 42 Ocon passes Bottas for tenth place.

Both Russell and Hamilton are complaining about their tyres.

On lap 45 Ricciardo pits from seventh for soft tyres and rejoins in 13th.

At lap 45 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 10.1 seconds, followed by Perez (11.7s), Russell (18.6s), Sainz (43.1s), Leclerc (46.9s), Alonso (1m11.9s), Ocon (1m19.3s), Bottas (1m19.7s) and Norris (1 lap) in tenth place.

Hamilton reports, “still having drop outs in the car”.

Ricciardo on fresh tyres tries to pass Tsunoda, but the two touch. Tsunoda limps back to the pits and retires.

Hamilton tells the team “are we on the wrong tyre?”, and they respond, “no Lewis, we think we are on the right tyre - we will make it to the end, no sweat.”

Gasly is complaining that his breaks are gone.

Ricciardo is given a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with Tsunoda.

At lap 55 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 11.7 seconds, followed by Perez (13.4s), Russell (18.5s), Sainz (47.4s), Leclerc (51.1s), Alonso (1 lap), Ocon, Bottas and Ricciardo in tenth.

On lap 58 Ricciardo passes Bottas for ninth.

On lap 60 Zhou passes Vettel for 14th.

Alonso’s lap times are slowing.

Hamilton tells Mercedes, “That medium looks quick, they're going to the end on this tyre.”

On lap 62 Ricciardo passes Ocon for seventh.

Alonso pulls off the track with an engine failure, the virtual safety car is out.

At lap 66 Verstappen leds Hamilton by 14.2 seconds, followed by Perez (18.5s), Russell (23.8s), Sainz (54.7s), Leclerc (1m01.5s), Ricciardo (1 lap), Ocon, Norris and Bottas in tenth.

The virtual safety car is over and the race continues.

On lap 70 Russell pits from fourth for soft tyres and rejoins in the same position - in an attempt at the fast lap.

At the flag Verstappen crosses the line with the win with Hamilton and Perez following.

Russell on the last lap takes the point for fastest lap at 1m20.153s.