Hamilton wins in Mexico but must wait for sixth world title

Lewis Hamilton at Monaco

Written by Jamie Downes (@JamieDownes11)

Lewis Hamilton drove a clever strategic race to take victory in Mexico City – but must wait for his sixth world drivers’ championship after teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was second, with teammate Charles Leclerc fourth.

In what is becoming a familiar pattern this season, Ferrari once again squandered several chances to close out the race. First, they chose to pit race leader Leclerc on lap fifteen, which meant the Monegasque driver surrendered his lead and the race to the Mercedes who were running a tactically intelligent long strategy.

Next, they made the opposite error, opting not to bring in Vettel on lap 23 when Hamilton pitted. This meant Bottas in the sister Mercedes could protect Hamilton’s race position, and Ferrari were never really in the race from then on. 

Max Verstappen finished sixth, after an opening lap collision with Hamilton and the resulting puncture dropped him to the back of the grid. The Dutchman’s teammate, Alex Albon, came home in fifth after being in the podium places early on. However, a retrospectively under-competitive two-stop strategy meant he lost ground. 

Despite promise in qualifying, it was a race to forget for McLaren. Lando Norris was forced to retire after a botched pit stop resulted in the Englishman having to be wheeled back to the pit box to refit his front left tyre. His teammate Carlos Sainz faded during the race, finishing outside the points in thirteenth.

What happens next?

Formula one visits the Circuit of The Americas next week in Austin, Texas. Hamilton can become a six time world champion if he doesn’t lose more than 23 points to his teammate Bottas. 

For a full written report on the race, as well as all things F1, Nerve is the place to be.