Formula 1: Verstappen also triumphs in Mexico

Max Verstappen adjusted the power structure in Formula 1 before the first corner – and then raced towards the next record with overwhelming dominance.

Thanks to two excellent starts, the strength of his Red Bull and good tire management, the world champion continued his winning ways and immortalized himself in the history books of the premier class with another best result.

Red Bull star Verstappen confidently won the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, which had been interrupted due to a serious accident involving Dane Kevin Magnussen, and improved his own record from last year with his 16th win of the season. With his 51st win of his career, he also moved level with Alain Prost in the “all-time” best list.

The podium was completed by record world champion Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes and pole setter Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari. Local hero Sergio Perez experienced a debacle. The Mexican, who urgently needed a sense of success in the Red Bull, retired after a collision with Leclerc in the starting phase.

The clear lap at the home race was a big setback for his status at Red Bull and the fight for second place in the Drivers’ World Championship. “I am of course very sad,” said Perez.

Ferrari plan doesn’t work

Nico Hülkenberg’s hopes for points at the anniversary were not fulfilled. The Haas driver finished 13th in his 200th Grand Prix in the premier class and missed the points.

Ferrari caused a big surprise in qualifying and captured the front row of the grid with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. That wasn’t necessarily an advantage. “I’m not sure if this is the best place to start,” the Monegasque Leclerc said.

The danger for the Ferrari star came from two directions: Behind him, in third place on the grid, was Verstappen in the superior Red Bull. In front of Leclerc was the seemingly endless start and finish straight.

But Verstappen didn’t need Leclerc’s slipstream for the expected overtaking maneuver. The Dutchman got off to an outstanding start and after just a few meters pushed himself between the Ferraris and turned into the first corner next to Leclerc on the inside. Perez, who started from fifth place, also caught up with Leclerc on the outside lane – and misjudged himself.

The crowd favorite cut off the Ferrari’s path. Perez’s tail lifted off in the spectacular collision. Perez made it into the pits, but he had to park the car there. Perez pounded on the handlebars angrily, disappointment written all over his face. Leclerc continued driving despite the damaged front wing, while Verstappen gradually increased his lead at the front.

Magnussen survives flame drama

Magnussen, Hülkenberg’s teammate at Haas, crashed heavily into the barriers on the 35th lap. The Dane got out of his car on his own, from which flames shot out shortly afterwards. The race resumed after about 25 minutes with a standing start.

Verstappen reacted strongly again and retained the lead. Behind him, Hamilton put pressure on the softer medium tires. The Brit overtook Leclerc, but the gap to Verstappen on the hard compound steadily increased.