F1 – Mexican GP – Race
Hello MiniFans and welcome to Mexico! It was an exciting day for Red Bull, who had the first row lock out as fourth team since the start of new hybrid era of 2014. However, it was even more exciting and thrilling for Lewis Hamilton, as the race could be a title decider. If the Brit finished and Vettel wasn’t crowned as the winner, he would end the day as the F1 World Champion of 2018. But did Hamilton meet the expectations that everyone had? You will read it here!
Hamilton and Bottas had a flying start in Mexico. Hamilton could even overtake Ricciardo, while he went side by side with the other Silberpfeil after a bad start. Verstappen took the lead followed by Hamilton and Ricciardo, whilst there was a dirty move of Vettel who pushed Bottas off the track. Hulkenberg and Ocon collided in the first couple of bends as well. A piece of the front wing of the Force India was stuck underneath Alonso’s McLaren and caused his retirement after only five laps.
Hamilton and Bottas went for an undercut in lap 12 out of 71, followed by Red Bull, who had the same idea with their drivers. All four of the drivers changed their Ultra Softs to Super Softs and tried to finish the race with that compound. However, Vettel had the opposite idea that he told us over the radio. He wanted to stay out as long as possible. That lasted exactly four more laps, when Vettel and Raikkonen came in the pits for a fresh and steaming hot set of tyres. Verstappen took his lead back and Vettel dropped back to P4 behind Hamilton and Ricciardo.
There was a huge battle at the back of the field between six cars, who all tried to go for P11. We don’t hear Vandoorne a lot, but he was really frustrated and dissatisfied with his McLaren. He said over the radio that the car was so slow that he even couldn’t battle. Hopefully he will get a better car next year in FE, but that will be covered by my other collegues!
Everyone held their breath when Hamilton let us know that he had some problems in lap 25! We could see blisters on his tyres not even ten laps after his pit stop and there were still 46 laps to go! And it looks to be a trend, because also Ricciardo had some problems with his set of tyres. Though, there were bigger problems for Sainz, who ended up in the wall. Another virtual safety car was caused and that brought Vettel and Ricciardo closer together, so the German could overtake the Red Bull. Vettel was on a roll and even overtook Hamilton for the second position! With only fourteen seconds and 31 laps to go, it was still possible that he could win the race!
Perez was the second one to retire in his home race due to too much damage after the collision with Hartley earlier on in the race. Meanwhile, Ricciardo was catching up with Hamilton and Vettel with Verstappen. Hamilton broke way too late when he noticed that Ricciardo wanted to overtake him and went over the grass. Before he even got out of the pits, we saw the same happening to Bottas when Raikkonen overtook him. All of the drivers in the top six, besides Raikkonen, pitted once again and that’s how the Red Bulls were in the lead followed by Ferrari and Mercedes.
It promised to be an thrilling battle between Ricciardo and Vettel, who was still hunting after that win. That battle stopped as soon as the Aussie’s engine failed once again. Mercedes took profit of the third virtual safety car and put Hyper Soft tyres on Bottas’ car. Green flags were waved with only seven laps to go! Vettel was 13 seconds behind the leading Dutchman and Hamilton in fourth. That means that if it stayed like that, Hamilton would be worldchampion and Verstappen would be crowned as the king of the Maxican GP once again! And it indeed didn’t change anymore!
Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel on P2. The podium was completed by Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton finished as fourth, is now sure of his title, followed by Bottas, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Vandoorne, who could take some points after his rant, Ericsson and Gasly!
Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for winning the F1 World Championship of 2018! We are back in two weeks to cover the Brazilian GP, the second last race weekend of the season!