Hamilton wins in Mexico to keep title hopes alive
For the first time in his career, Lewis Hamilton won the Mexican Grand Prix and scored the 51st victory in his career. What was the more important for the reigning champion is the fact that he shortened a gap to the championship leader and his teammate Nico Rosberg to 19 points, two races before the end of the season.
The start of the race was a bit chaotic. Hamilton cut the turn 1 after making a mistake but he maintained the lead, while in the back of the grid Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Gutierrez had a contact after which the Manor’s driver had to retire. The safety car was deployed and in lap 4 the race was restarted.
Hamilton and Rosberg were relatively safe on their positions at the top. Red Bull tried with the different tactical approach but after 25 laps Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen still were too far from the title contenders. Sebastian Vettel also had a different strategy as he was the only driver who had to pit after 32 laps, what later proved as a good move by Ferrari.
While Lewis had a comfortable lead, Rosberg was put under pressure by Verstappen at one point of the race but the championship leader resisted well. The battle for the 3rd was the most interesting in the final six laps as Vettel and Ricciardo were just behind Verstappen. On lap 68, Max made a mistake, went too wide and left the track.
The team ordered Verstappen to give the position to Vettel but the arrogant Dutch teenager is not acted like a true sportsman and kept his position until the end. However, Red Bull driver received a five seconds penalty, so he was dropped back to the 5th place, behind Vettel and Ricciardo.
After the race, stewards decided to penalize Vettel, too. The Ferrari driver has been given a 10 second post-race penalty for moving under braking when defending from Daniel Ricciardo in the Mexican GP, demoting him to fifth, what means that Ricciardo moved up to the third place.