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Mexican GP: Hamilton clinches title, Verstappen wins race

30 October 2017 - Motorsport

Mexican GP: Hamilton clinches title, Verstappen wins race

Max Verstappen clinched victory in a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton survived a collision with Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to clinch his fourth world championship.

The Red Bull driver boldly passed pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1 at the start, escaping contact with the Ferrari driver to continue and dominate the race at Mexico City.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finished 19.6 seconds adrift in second, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen completing the podium, as Vettel and Hamilton finished fourth and ninth respectively.

Though Vettel cut Hamilton's championship lead to 56 points, there are only 50 remaining in the final two races, meaning Hamilton wins his third title in four years.

Hamilton, starting third, almost went three abreast with Vettel and Verstappen into Turn 1, but backed out of it before launching an attack around the outside at Turn 2 as his two rivals squabbled.

But Vettel, who needed to finish at least second to keep the championship alive and hope other results go his way, clipped Hamilton's right-rear tyre, causing a puncture for the Mercedes and also further damaging his front wing.

Both drivers pitted, with Vettel taking a new front wing and swapping ultrasofts for softs and Hamilton following the same tyre strategy. They rejoined in 19th and 20th.

Up front, Esteban Ocon ran a strong third, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Lance Stroll.

While Hamilton struggled to close back up to the pack, Vettel made quick progress through the field, climbing up to seventh before the race was neutralised by the virtual safety car when Brendon Hartley retired with an engine problem.

Race leader Verstappen took the opportunity to pit from the lead, with Bottas and Raikkonen, who had climbed up to third following early stops from Ocon and Perez and Hulkenberg's retirement with an engine issue.

The trio rejoined in the same positions, with Vettel and Hamilton also pitting for fresh rubber and taking ultrasofts and supersofts respectively with a little over half of the race to go.

The title rivals restarted their recovery drives, with Vettel passing Kevin Magnussen to take seventh, while Hamilton passed Romain Grosjean, Pascal Wehrlein, Pierre Gasly and Marcus Ericsson to run 12th.

Vettel lunged down the inside of Perez to take sixth at Turn 4 and made short work of Stroll into Turn 1 to snatch fifth, before setting off in pursuit of Ocon.

The Ferrari driver caught the Force India quickly and used DRS to blast past Ocon into Turn 1 to take fourth, with teammate Raikkonen a further 24 seconds up the road with 14 laps to go.

When he heard the size of the gap, Vettel replied "Mama mia, that's a little bit too much" and he ultimately crossed the line fourth.

Hamilton had made good progress. He passed Vandoorne with ease and then swept around the outside of Felipe Massa into Turn 1 to move into the points in 10th and then came out on top in a brilliant tussle with Fernando Alonso to take ninth.

The Briton joins Vettel and Alain Prost on four world titles, with only Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio ahead on the all-time list with seven and five respectively.

Ocon equalled his best-ever F1 result with fifth, ahead of Stroll, Perez and Magnussen.

Ricciardo recovered from starting 16th - following grid penalties for engine component changes, to run seventh early on, but his race lasted just five laps as he suffered yet more problems with his Renault engine.

Marcus Ericsson spent much of the early part of the race just inside the points, but retired in the closing stages after reporting a brake-by-wire failure and retiring the car.

Renault suffered a double retirement, with Carlos Sainz retiring late on after reporting his car was pulling on the straights.

FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO 2017 - RACE RESULT

27-29 Oct 2017 Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City

133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER711:36:26.55225
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES71+19.678s18
37Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI71+54.007s15
45Sebastian VettelFERRARI71+70.078s12
531Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES70+1 lap10
618Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES70+1 lap8
711Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES70+1 lap6
820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI70+1 lap4
944Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES70+1 lap2
1014Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN HONDA70+1 lap1
1119Felipe MassaWILLIAMS MERCEDES70+1 lap0
122Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN HONDA70+1 lap0
1310Pierre GaslyTORO ROSSO70+1 lap0
1494Pascal WehrleinSAUBER FERRARI69+2 laps0
158Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI69+2 laps0
NC55Carlos SainzRENAULT59DNF0
NC9Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI55DNF0
NC28Brendon HartleyTORO ROSSO30DNF0
NC27Nico HulkenbergRENAULT24DNF0
NC3Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER5DNF0

2017 DRIVER STANDINGS

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES333
2Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI277
3Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES262
4Daniel RicciardoAUSRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER192
5Kimi RäikkönenFINFERRARI178
6Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER148
7Sergio PerezMEXFORCE INDIA MERCEDES92
8Esteban OconFRAFORCE INDIA MERCEDES83
9Carlos SainzESPRENAULT54
10Lance StrollCANWILLIAMS MERCEDES40
11Felipe MassaBRAWILLIAMS MERCEDES36
12Nico HulkenbergGERRENAULT34
13Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI28
14Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI19
15Stoffel VandoorneBELMCLAREN HONDA13
16Fernando AlonsoESPMCLAREN HONDA11
17Jolyon PalmerGBRRENAULT8
18Pascal WehrleinGERSAUBER FERRARI5
19Daniil KvyatRUSTORO ROSSO5
20Marcus EricssonSWESAUBER FERRARI0
21Antonio GiovinazziITASAUBER FERRARI0
22Pierre GaslyFRATORO ROSSO0
23Brendon HartleyNZLTORO ROSSO0

2017 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

1MERCEDES595
2FERRARI455
3RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER340
4FORCE INDIA MERCEDES175
5WILLIAMS MERCEDES76
6TORO ROSSO53
7RENAULT48
8HAAS FERRARI47
9MCLAREN HONDA24
10SAUBER FERRARI5

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