RED BULL DRIVER MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS MEXICAN GRAND PRIX WITH A ONE-STOP ULTRASOFT-SUPERSOFT STRATEGY
CONTACT BETWEEN LEWIS HAMILTON AND SEBASTIAN VETTEL PUTS BOTH ONTO AN ALTERNATIVE TWO-STOPPER
ALL THREE COMPOUNDS USED DURING THE RACE IN A P ZERO RANGE THAT WAS ONE STEP SOFTER THAN A YEAR AGO
A thrilling Mexican Grand Prix was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with an expected one-stop strategy, but an early collision between title protagonists Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) forced them both onto different two-stop strategies.
After pitting for soft tyres at the end of the opening lap, they both used a virtual safety car halfway through the race to switch on to supersoft (for Hamilton) and ultrasoft (for Vettel). But as Vettel did not finish in the top two, Hamilton could claim his fourth drivers’ title – and his third with Pirelli.
Along with Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Sergio Perez, Hamilton and Vettel were the only drivers to stop twice. All the other drivers stopped just once, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen the highest-placed competitor to use the soft (rather than the supersoft) for his second stint.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“The collision on the opening lap and the virtual safety car meant that Hamilton and Vettel both had to diverge from the expected one-stop strategy, adding an extra tactical element to this race. Keeping the tyres within the correct operating window was essential, with low degradation, minimal downforce in the thin air, and a slippery surface in Mexico, but Verstappen managed this perfectly to seal a textbook victory. We saw all three compounds used during the race, with teams implementing different strategies to react to the changing circumstances of this fascinating grand prix, and no issues whatsoever from the tyres. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for a well-deserved fourth driver’s title, following a stunning season.”
BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
Raikkonen 1m 20.054s
Verstappen 1m 18.892s
Vettel 1m 18.785s
Vettel 1m 20.698s
Bottas 1m 19.374s
Perez 1m 19.929s
Ocon 1m 20.946s
Hamilton 1m 19.945s
Grosjean 1m 20.345s
LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE
Vandoorne, Gasly, Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas
Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix with a one-stop strategy as expected, making his sole pit stop from ultrasoft to supersoft on lap 32.