5 Winners and 5 Losers from the Mexico City Grand Prix – Who shone the brightest in Mexico?
There were mixed fortunes for Red Bull at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, another intriguing battle between Mercedes and Ferrari and a fantastic showing from a familiar face. We pick five winners and five losers from the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Winner: Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has taken up near permanent residency in the winner’s section of this feature this year – the Dutchman delivering yet another commanding performance in Mexico City to secure a 16th win in 2023, which is a new single-season record.
This was Verstappen’s fifth victory in Mexico – tying Austria’s Red Bull Ring for the venue where he has enjoyed the most success – and moved him 251 points clear at the top of the championship he has already won. That’s a bigger gap than separates all the other drivers in the drivers’ standings.
Oh, and his 18th podium of the year (in 19 events) ties his own single-season record with three Grands Prix still to go. This year just gets better and better for the Red Bull racer.
Loser: Sergio Perez
It was a case of emotions on the other end of the scale for Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez as the Mexican vied for the lead into Turn 1, only to make contact with Charles Leclerc that caused race-ending damage.
His second retirement in four races was a painful way to end his home Grand Prix race weekend, at a venue where he enjoyed such unrelenting and passionate support from a wonderful crowd.
And it means his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the fight for P2 in the drivers’ championship was near cut in half with 20 points the gap heading to Brazil. The pressure is on.
Winner: Lewis Hamilton
This was one of Lewis Hamilton’s strongest drives of the year, the Briton fighting through from sixth on the grid to secure a brilliant second in Mexico for the third year in succession.
He clocked the fastest lap on the final lap of the race. That’s his 65th career fastest lap, moving him just 12 adrift of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.
The bonus point that came with it also helped his pursuit of second in the drivers’ championship, a target that recently looked fanciful but is now very much on the cards given his performance curve.
Loser: Yuki Tsunoda
This was so very nearly a sensational day for Yuki Tsunoda, who started the day from 19th (because of a string of penalties for new engine and gearbox components) but rose into the top-10 after a decision to pit for hards early doors paid off.
He showed tremendous pace to catch McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, but the duo touched with Tsunoda coming off worse as he spun into the run-off.
That cost him what would have been a second successive points finish and fifth top-10 of the year.
Winner: Daniel Ricciardo
“It looked like the Daniel of old this weekend,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner as he heralded a sensational performance from the Australian competing in only his second race since recovering from a broken hand.
Ricciardo was quick throughout every practice session, qualified a brilliant fourth and then brought a decent haul of points home in seventh – a result that would have been better had the rest of the pack not caught him up when the race was neutralised with a red flag.
Ricciardo spent more laps inside the top-five in Mexico than the team has managed in all the other races combined this year. Seventh is also AlphaTauri’s best result of the season and moves them off the bottom of the constructors’ championship and level with eighth-placed Alfa Romeo.
This was a chastening weekend for Haas, who dropped to the bottom of the constructors’ championship after a fourth Grand Prix without points.
Nico Hulkenberg looked like he may snatch at least one with a gritty drive on his 200th Grand Prix weekend, but 37 laps on the mediums proved a step too far and he faded to 13th.
His team mate Kevin Magnussen had a big crash when his Haas suffered suspected left-rear suspension failure through Turn 8. Fortunately, he climbed out of the car unaided and was given the all-clear from the medical centre but leaves Mexico having scored just once in the last 14 events.
Winner: Lando Norris
Lando Norris was probably the busiest driver on track in Mexico, the McLaren driver starting from 17th after errors in qualifying and fighting back into the top-10, only to drop back to 14th at the restart after a red flag.
The Briton then proceeded to deliver an overtaking masterclass – peaking with a sublime move on George Russell to take fifth. That’s the most positions he has ever gained in a race and was the kind of performance that yielded the fan-voted driver of the day accolade for the fourth race in a row.
Losers: Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo looked menacing through practice, particularly through Valtteri Bottas with the Swiss team getting both cars into Q3.
However, their race fortunes weren’t as rosy. Bottas was unlucky to pit just a lap before the Safety Car – which meant he lost significant track position. Then the team said he got a tear-off stuck in his left-rear brake duct which caused brake temperature issues and limited his ability to recover.
Zhou, too, was hurt by the red flag, having pitted earlier – but he lacked grip after the restart and was unable to attack, leaving him 14th at the flag.
Ferrari caused an almighty shock on Saturday as they took their first front row since last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, headed by Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc was fortunate to escape serious damage when he was sandwiched by the Red Bulls into Turn 1 and while he failed to convert pole into a win for the 11th successive time, he did show decent race pace to secure what is only his fourth podium of the year for Ferrari.
His team mate Carlos Sainz followed up P3 in Austin with P4 in Mexico to move level on points with countryman Fernando Alonso in the fight for P4 in the drivers’ championship.
Losers: Aston Martin
It was another disappointing weekend for Aston Martin, who failed to score points with either car for only the second time this season.
Alonso and Lance Stroll never looked like they were in contention for a top 10 finish at any point during the weekend, as the team struggled to get on top of its latest upgrade package.
Stroll was 17th, having been pitched into a spin after contact with Bottas, while Alonso failed to finish with the Spaniard saying he picked up some damage on lap one which they tried to fix at the red flag but got worse after the restart and ultimately forced their retirement. They now trail McLaren by 20 points in the fight for P4 in the constructors’ championship.