The Formula 1 Gran Premio de México was memorable to say the least, from a dominant Verstappen to Lewis Hamilton securing his fourth title in ninth place. Kimi takes a podium and Vettel pushed from the back to 4th place.
Ferrari was celebrating saturday afternoon, because Sebastian Vettel was on pole position! It was his 50th career pole and the 5th for Ferrari in 2017. Verstappen was less than a tenth slower and would start alongside Vettel, with Hamilton behind in 3rd.
The start was especially important this time, because it’s a long way to the first corner. Seb had a good start, but Verstappen even better and he was very menacing into the braking zone. Hamilton was right behind, looking for a gap. Vettel leads into the first corner, but Verstappen is on the inside for turn 2. They make contact and Lewis slides in front, Verstappen is surprisingly slow out of turn 3, forcing Hamilton to lift and causing Vettel to touch his right rear wheel. It was a messy start, Seb had a broken front wing, Hamilton a punctured tyre. The title rivals crawled back to the pits and started their run back to the front. Sebastian pushed like hell and passed half the field, sometimes easy, sometimes difficult like the overtake on Massa. Hamilton had more trouble and was even lapped by leader Verstappen.
The next big moment came when the Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley retired on the side of the track, causing a Virtual Safety Car and a subsequently run to the pits. Hamilton fitted supersofts. Vettel picked the faster ultrasofts, and continued his way through the field. After setting the fastest lap multiple times, he was in P4 at the finish line and was awarded “driver of the day” for his remarkable drive. Kimi had a quiet but good race and was on the podium! Bottas took 2nd, while Verstappen finished way ahead in the lead.
Lewis Hamilton takes his fourth world championship thanks to consistent good results from both team and driver. Seb applauded him on the cooldown lap and later said: “He’s done a superb job all year round and deserves to win the title. So congratulations to him. It’s not about anyone else today, it’s about him. It’s his day.” And I think this is the best part to remember about this weekend, true respect between rivals. There are still two races to go, will we see something spectacular now that the pressure is off?