Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Verstappen’s victory in Mexico extends lead in F1 title chase

MEXICO CITY (NWN) — Max Verstappen extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One season championship with a dominant victory at the Mexico City Grand Prix on Sunday, and Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez became the first Mexican driver to reach the podium. for the third place. in the history of the race.

Verstappen, who finished third after struggling in qualifying, is now 19 points ahead of Hamilton with four races left in the season. Hamilton finished second and eventually had to fight Perez to stay there.

Verstappen scored his ninth win of the season, his second consecutive and third career win in Mexico City. The 24-year-old Dutchman is chasing the first championship of his career.

Hamilton is looking for a record eighth title, including a final four titles in a row. The British driver is currently the most linked with Michael Schumacher in F1 history.

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas pulled a major surprise in qualifying when Mercedes teammates earned their first front-row lockout of the season. On Bottas pole, Hamilton was second and Verstappen and Perez third and fourth.

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His advantage did not last till the first corner.

Verstappen closed his line at the start and used the slip stream behind Bottas to snatch the lead in the first corner. Meanwhile, Bottas was tapped by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and his car slammed him backwards.

This left Hamilton in a Red Bull sandwich: Verstappen in front and Perez right behind, with Bottas no longer in the game to help defend his position.

And with the race barely a third, Verstappen was zooming into the distance and Hamilton found himself in a desperate race with Perez to keep the crucial championship points needed to keep Verstappen in sight in the final month of the season.

The home crowd roared when Perez briefly took the lead after Hamilton and Verstappen pitched in for new tyres. This made him the first Mexican driver in the history of the race to lead the Mexico Grand Prix. Perez secured a third straight podium finish for the first time in his career.

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