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Verstappen claims victory in Mexico as Perez secures late podium

Verstappen dominated the race to ease to a record-breaking 14th victory of the season.

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Max Verstappen dominated the Mexican GP from flag to flag as the champion claimed a record 14th win of the season at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez.

Red Bull had a relatively sedate build up to the race in Mexico City as Mercedes looked the team to beat throughout the practice sessions and early portions of qualifying.

But Verstappen beat out George Russell and Lewis Hamilton for pole position, and showed the whole grid why he once again was crowned champion in 2022 after a controlled display in Mexico to take a record-breaking 14th win of the season.

Verstappen retained the lead off the line as Hamilton passed Russell into second, but the Brit was never quite able to pin down his 2021 championship rival, as the Dutchman managed the threat at the pitstops and take the chequered flag over 15 seconds in the lead.

Russell, who was disappointed to have had to settle for 2nd place in qualifying, was unable to recover from his poor start to Hamilton, and ultimately finished 4th after home hero Sergio Perez passed him with a few laps to go.

Perez then went on to threaten Hamilton for 2nd place in a fight to the finish, but had to settle for the final podium spot in front of a rapturous home crowd which cheered his every move all weekend.

Ferrari lag

While Verstappen eased to victory at the front despite the Mercedes pair looking much more competitive in Mexico than they have for large parts of the season, the race was a huge disappointment for Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc, the would-be challenger to Verstappen in 2022, had to settle for 5th a long way off the leading cars, while Carlos Sainz was just behind in 5th as the Scuderia struggled for pace.

The team had been grappling with engine and cooling issues throughout the weekend, and those problems came to the fore during the race as the two cars were unable to put any pressure on Red Bull and Mercedes.

Tyres woes

However, they won’t the only drivers unhappy with their race, with Russell complaining to his team about the decision to pit him for hard tyres rather than running an alternate strategy.

It was better news for Daniel Ricciardo, who retained his 7th place finish despite a 10 second penalty for a clash with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda after charging through the pack late on with soft tyres.

Esteban Ocon rallied to finish 8th for Alpine, ahead of Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris, while Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas was able to convert his 6th place qualifying position into the final points finish in Mexico in 10th.

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