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Mexican GP: Hamilton clinches title, Verstappen wins race

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Mexican GP: Hamilton clinches title, Verstappen wins race
By:
Oct 29, 2017, 8:47 PM

Max Verstappen clinched victory in a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton survived a collision with Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to clinch his fourth world championship.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 leads at the start of the race with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 and rear puncture after colliding with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, battles Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, on the first lap
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 with rear puncture at the start of the race after colliding with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 with rear puncture at the start of the race after colliding with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 leads at the start of the race
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 and Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-17 battle
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H battle at the start of the race
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H on lap 2 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 in pit lane on the screen
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H battle at the start of the race
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Lance Stroll, Williams FW40
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

The Red Bull driver boldly passed pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1 at the start, escaping contact with the Ferrari driver to continue and dominate the race at Mexico City.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finished 19.6 seconds adrift in second, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen completing the podium, as Vettel and Hamilton finished fourth and ninth respectively.

Though Vettel cut Hamilton's championship lead to 56 points, there are only 50 remaining in the final two races, meaning Hamilton wins his third title in four years.

Hamilton, starting third, almost went three abreast with Vettel and Verstappen into Turn 1, but backed out of it before launching an attack around the outside at Turn 2 as his two rivals squabbled.

But Vettel, who needed to finish at least second to keep the championship alive and hope other results go his way, clipped Hamilton's right-rear tyre, causing a puncture for the Mercedes and also further damaging his front wing.

Both drivers pitted, with Vettel taking a new front wing and swapping ultrasofts for softs and Hamilton following the same tyre strategy. They rejoined in 19th and 20th.

Up front, Esteban Ocon ran a strong third, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Lance Stroll.

While Hamilton struggled to close back up to the pack, Vettel made quick progress through the field, climbing up to seventh before the race was neutralised by the virtual safety car when Brendon Hartley retired with an engine problem.

Race leader Verstappen took the opportunity to pit from the lead, with Bottas and Raikkonen, who had climbed up to third following early stops from Ocon and Perez and Hulkenberg's retirement with an engine issue.

The trio rejoined in the same positions, with Vettel and Hamilton also pitting for fresh rubber and taking ultrasofts and supersofts respectively with a little over half of the race to go.

The title rivals restarted their recovery drives, with Vettel passing Kevin Magnussen to take seventh, while Hamilton passed Romain Grosjean, Pascal Wehrlein, Pierre Gasly and Marcus Ericsson to run 12th.

Vettel lunged down the inside of Perez to take sixth at Turn 4 and made short work of Stroll into Turn 1 to snatch fifth, before setting off in pursuit of Ocon.

The Ferrari driver caught the Force India quickly and used DRS to blast past Ocon into Turn 1 to take fourth, with teammate Raikkonen a further 24 seconds up the road with 14 laps to go.

When he heard the size of the gap, Vettel replied "Mama mia, that's a little bit too much" and he ultimately crossed the line fourth.

Hamilton had made good progress. He passed Vandoorne with ease and then swept around the outside of Felipe Massa into Turn 1 to move into the points in 10th and then came out on top in a brilliant tussle with Fernando Alonso to take ninth.

The Briton joins Vettel and Alain Prost on four world titles, with only Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio ahead on the all-time list with seven and five respectively.

Ocon equalled his best-ever F1 result with fifth, ahead of Stroll, Perez and Magnussen.

Ricciardo recovered from starting 16th - following grid penalties for engine component changes, to run seventh early on, but his race lasted just five laps as he suffered yet more problems with his Renault engine.

Marcus Ericsson spent much of the early part of the race just inside the points, but retired in the closing stages after reporting a brake-by-wire failure and retiring the car.

Renault suffered a double retirement, with Carlos Sainz retiring late on after reporting his car was pulling on the straights. 

ClaDriverChassisEngineTime
1 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 1:36'26.550
2 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 19.678
3 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 54.007
4 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 70.078
5 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 1 lap
6 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 1 lap
7 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 1 lap
8 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 1 lap
9 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 1 lap
10 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda 1 lap
11 brazil Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 1 lap
12 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda 1 lap
13 france Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Renault 1 lap
14 germany Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari 2 laps
15 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 2 laps
  spain Carlos Sainz  Renault Renault  
  sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari  
  new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Renault  
  germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault  
  australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG  
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Sub-event Sunday race
Location Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Author Edd Straw