Race Weekend Central

Max Verstappen Crashes the Fiesta, Wins in Mexico City

Once again, Max Verstappen made winning a Formula 1 race look like a walk in the park, cruising to victory on Sunday, Oct. 29, in the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Verstappen took the lead on lap one and, save for a brief stretch during pit stop cycles, never gave it up.

It was Verstappen’s 16th win of 2023, breaking his own record for most wins by a driver in a season.

“To be honest, we are experiencing an incredible season,” Verstappen said in the podium interview. “The pace of the car is very, very good. We tried to do a different strategy from everyone else, unfortunately with the red flag we really didn’t get a chance to show it. Nevertherless, on those hard tires at the end, we were very, very strong.”

The Dutchman was joined on the podium by both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc. Hamilton took second from Leclerc on turn one of lap 40 and drove to the silver medal with a multi-second cushion between himself and his third-place podium peer while also nabbing the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.

On lap 33, Kevin Magnussen endured a massive accident in turn nine, causing a safety car that turned into a red flag. Magnussen looked shaken up following the crash, in which it appeared his suspension failed in the high-speed esses, where the car was destroyed and the track walls needed to be repaired.

Haas later posted an update that Magnussen had been released from the medical center following the race.

On the ensuing standing restart, Verstappen zoomed back out front and got out of DRS range of everyone, leaving the 2023 champion free to cruise to the win over the following 36 laps.

Carlos Sainz scored fourth, while Lando Norris came from starting 17th to finish fifth.

George Russell fell back in the closing laps from his teammate Hamilton, finishing sixth. Daniel Ricciardo’s excellent weekend ended with a solid seventh place in points, a season-high for AlphaTauri.

Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda made contact in the first turn on lap 49, with the Japanese driver misjudging how clear he was. Tsunoda went for a spin in the run-off, as Piastri drove away with no damage in seventh, before eventually finishing eighth. Tsunoda wound up out of the points in 13th.

Alexander Albon finished a solid ninth in his Williams, while Esteban Ocon finished 10th.

On lap one, Sergio Perez made a stab at the lead from his fifth-place position on the grid and almost stuck it. But he made light contact with Leclerc, which sent the Mexican flying off track into the run-off.

Perez drove back to the pit lane but had to retire the car due to damage.

See also
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A virtual safety car came out on the fifth lap due to Leclerc’s front wing endplate being on the racing surface in turn one and was withdrawn a lap later after clean-up.

It was a terrible day for Aston Martin. Lance Stroll spun out in the closing laps of the race after contact from Valtteri Bottas. Stroll would join teammate Fernando Alonso in the garage, who retired earlier after running over debris.

2023 Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix Results

Next up for F1 is the Brazilian Grand Prix from the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 12 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided on ESPN.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.

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