Verstappen wins Mexican GP, Lewis Hamilton takes 2017 championship

Max Verstappen took 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

Verstappen wins Mexican GP, Lewis Hamilton takes 2017 championship

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

But behind him, Vettel had suffered minor front wing damage, and Hamilton got ahead of the Ferrari through Turn 2. Vettel then tagged the right-rear tyre of Hamilton on the exit of Turn 3, further damaging his own wing and giving Hamilton a puncture.

That forced both drivers to limp back to the pits, leaving Verstappen clear to defeat the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas by 19.6 seconds to take his third F1 win.

Though Vettel recovered to fourth place to cut Hamilton's championship lead to 56-points, there are only 50 remaining in the final two races, meaning Hamilton won the championship despite only battling back to ninth.

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's retired with an engine problem.

Race leader Verstappen took the opportunity to pit from the lead, with Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, who had climbed up to third following early stops from Esteban Ocon and Sergio 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 ultra-softs and super-softs 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 for fourth, with team-mate 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, who came out on top in a brilliant tussle with Fernando Alonso late on to take ninth, 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.

Daniel 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 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 Jr stopping late on after reporting his car was pulling on the straights.

Race result

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 71 1h36m26.552s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 71 19.678s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 71 54.007s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 71 1m10.078s
5 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
6 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 70 1 Lap
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1 Lap
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 70 1 Lap
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 70 1 Lap
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 70 1 Lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 69 2 Laps
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 69 2 Laps
- Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 59 Steering
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 55 Suspension
- Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 30 Power Unit
- Nico Hulkenberg Renault 24 Power Unit
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 5 Turbo

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 333
2 Sebastian Vettel 277
3 Valtteri Bottas 262
4 Daniel Ricciardo 192
5 Kimi Raikkonen 178
6 Max Verstappen 148
7 Sergio Perez 92
8 Esteban Ocon 83
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. 54
10 Lance Stroll 40
11 Felipe Massa 36
12 Nico Hulkenberg 34
13 Romain Grosjean 28
14 Kevin Magnussen 19
15 Stoffel Vandoorne 13
16 Fernando Alonso 11
17 Jolyon Palmer 8
18 Pascal Wehrlein 5
19 Daniil Kvyat 5
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
22 Pierre Gasly 0
23 Brendon Hartley 0

Constructors' standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 595
2 Ferrari 455
3 Red Bull/Renault 340
4 Force India/Mercedes 175
5 Williams/Mercedes 76
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 53
7 Renault 48
8 Haas/Ferrari 47
9 McLaren/Honda 24
10 Sauber/Ferrari 5

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