Mexican GP 2023

OCTOBER 29, 2023

Race Notes - Verstappen wins Mexican GP

Max Verstappen, Mexican GP 2023
© Red Bull

By Mark Karp

Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix in his Red Bull-Honda.

Lewis Hamilton finished second in his Mercedes GP, 13.875 seconds behind.

Polesitter Charles Leclerc finished in third in the Ferrari, 23.124 behind the winner.

It is Verstappen’s fifth win in six Mexican GP’s, and is his 51st career victory, and a record setting 16th win in a season.

Carlos Sainz (26.154s) in the second Ferrari finished fourth, followed by Lando Norris (33.266s) in the McLaren-Mercedes was fifth, George Russell (41.020s) in the second Mercedes was sixth, Daniel Ricciardo (41.570s) in the AlphaTauri-Honda was seventh, Oscar Piastri (43.104s) in the second McLaren was eighth, Alex Albon (48.573s) in the Williams-Mercedes was ninth, and Esteban Ocon (1m02.878s) in the Alpine-Renault took the final point in tenth place.

Before the start, the skies were clear and the air temperature was warm. Leclerc is on pole with his Ferrari team alongside on the front row, Verstappen and Ricciardo fill the second row, Perez and Hamilton on row 3, Piastri and Russell on row 4 and Bottas and Zhou rounding out the top ten.

All drivers starting on medium tyres except Albon and Ocon on hard tyres and Norris on soft tyres.

At the appointed time the field came around came around, the lights went out and the race begin with Perez tries to go around Leclerc on the outside, the two touch and Perez goes off. Verstappen takes the lead over Leclerc, Sainz, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Piastri, Russell, Hulkenberg, Gasly and Zhou in tenth.

Perez pits and retires.

On lap 5 the virtual safety car is out to retrieve a piece of Leclerc’s fromt wing.

On lap 6 Verstappen leads Leclerc by 1.9 seconds, ahead of Sainz, Ricciardo and Hamilton.

Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m23.300s.

On lap 8 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m23.218s.

Tsunoda pits and takes on hard tyres.

On lap 11 Hamilton passes Ricciardo for fourth place.

On lap 12 Norris pits from 14th, switches from soft to hard tyres and rejoins 18th.

Tsunoda sets fast lap at 1m22.501s.

Red Bull tells Verstappen to watch the kerb at turn 3.

On lap 15 Albon passes Zhou for tenth place.

Hamilton has closed to a second behind Sainz.

On lap 20 Verstappen pits from the lead and switches from medium to hard tyres and rejoins in seventh.

On lap 22 Zhou pits for hard tyres and rejoins 19th,

Verstappen passes Russell for sixth, then passes Piastri for fifth.

On lap 24 Hulkenberg pits from eighth for hard tyres and rejoins 16th.

On lap 25 Hamilton pits from third and switches to hard tyres and rejoins seventh.

Verstappen passes Ricciardo for third and sets fast lap at 1m22.354s.

Piastri pits for hard tyres and rejoined tenth.

Norris passes Stroll for 11th.

Russell pits and rejoins tenth.

On lap 28 Ricciardo pits from fourth for hard tyres and rejoins sixth.

On lap 29 Verstappen passes. Sainz for second place.

Russell passes Albon for seventh.

Norris passes Bottas for ninth.

Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m22.224s.

On lap 31 Sainz pits from third for hard tyres and rejoins fourth behind Hamilton.

Norris passes Albon for eighth.

Leclerc pits for hard tyres and rejoins second.

On lap 33 Magnussen crashes, the Safety car is out.

Verstappen pits from the lead for new hard tyres and rejoins still in the lead.

Magnussen Is out of the car, which is still on fire and the barriers.

Norris and Albon both pits.

The red flag is out.

Under the red flag Verstappen leads Leclerc, followed by Hamilton, Sainz, Ricciardo, Piastri, Russell,Tsunoda, Hulkenberg, Norris in tenth, Gasly, Albon, Zhou, Ocon, Sargeant, Bottas, Stroll and Alonso in 18th.

The track marshals go to work on the barriers.

At lap 35, there is still just more then half the 71 laps remaining in the race.

Officials announce that the race will restart at 15:13 local time.

The drivers start to get back in there cars after a short break.

Many drivers don’t have many options of tyres that they can still switch to, so with half the race still remaining, many engineers are scratching their heads.

Hamilton changed his helmet, when the radio wasn’t working.

Hamilton, Piastri, Russell, Hulkenberg and Norris have put on medium tyres.

The field came around for a second standing start, the cars lined up and the lights went out and the race resumed with Verstappen takes the lead ahead of Leclerc, Hamilton, Sainz, Russell, Ricciardo, Piastri, Tsunoda, Albon and Hulkenberg in tenth.

On lap 38 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m22.185s, nd leads by 2.3 seconds.

Tsunoda is battling with Piastri for seventh.

Verstappen goes faster at 1m22.059s.

On lap 40 Hamilton passes Leclerc for second place.

Verstappen goes quicker again the next lap at 1m21.644s.

Hamilton tells the team, “its going to be a tough stint” on his medium tyres.

At lap 45 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 4.7 seconds, following by Leclerc (8.2s), Sainz (10.7s), Russell (11.8s), Ricciardo (13.4s), Piastri (15.3s), Tsunoda (16.3s), Albon (18.8s), Hulkenberg (20.4s) in tenth.

On lap 46 Norris passes Ocon for 11th.

On lap 47 Norris passes Hulkenberg for tenth.

On lap 48 Alonso retires in the pits.

On lap 49 Tsunoda tries to pass on the outside of Piastri, the two touch and Tsnoda spins and rejoins 16th.

Norris passes Albon for eighth.

Bottas is battling with Gasly for 12th.

At lap 55 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 10.7 seconds, followed by Leclerc (16.1s), Sainz (19.8s), Russell (22.5s), Ricciardo (24.7s), Piastri (27.6s), Norris (28.5s), Albon (36.9s) and Hulkenberg (40.5s) in tenth.

McLaren tells Piastri to let Norris by to see if he can catch Ricciardo in sixth.

Norris takes seventh.

Sargeant is battling with Stroll for 14th place.

On lap 60 Norris passes Ricciardo for sixth place.

At lap 65 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 13.4 seconds, followed by Leclerc (20.5s), Sainz (24.8s), Russell (30.3s), Norris (31.2s), Ricciardo (35.3s), Piastri (37.2s), Albon (45.8s) and Hulkenberg (57.3s) in tenth place.

On lap 67 Ocon passes Hulkeberg for tenth place.

Norris passes Russell for fifth place.

Bottas and Stroll battle, Stroll spins, then pits and retires.

Ricciardo is challenging Russell for sixth.

Verstappen wins ahead of Hamilton and Leclerc. On the final lap Hamilton takes the fastest lap at 1m21.334s.