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Winners and Losers - Mexico

02 Nov 2015

Formula One racing’s return to Mexico after a 23-year absence proved a huge success, with a capacity crowd providing a warm welcome for all - and a repeatedly rapturous reception for their home hero Sergio Perez. On track, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was the big winner, securing pole position, victory and fastest lap. Meanwhile, his rival for second in the standings - Sebastian Vettel - was the clear loser, crashing out after a miserable afternoon for Ferrari. We take a team-by-team look back at Sunday’s Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez…

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg, P1
Lewis Hamilton, P2

Rosberg was simply untouchable after making the better start and the better restart after the safety car intervention, and in his turbulent air Hamilton was always struggling to get close enough to launch an attack. Their only real drama came when the team called Rosberg in for fresh medium tyres as a safety precaution on the 46th lap, then a reluctant Hamilton on the 48th. Both also had minor offs in the esses on lap 59, but otherwise the Silver Arrows dominated.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, P3
Felipe Massa, P6

Williams bounced back well from their double damper failure in Texas, and Bottas was a strong podium contender all afternoon even after his run in with Raikkonen on the 22nd lap. He was the first to stop for tyres, then the last under the safety car, but made use of a good restart to claim third from Kvyat on the 58th lap. Massa was side-by-side with him in Turn 1 on the opening lap, but got squeezed back in the heavy traffic and thereafter never looked as quick on his way to sixth.

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, P4
Daniel Ricciardo, P5

Kvyat deserved the final podium slot, but in retrospect Red Bull lost out with the decision to equip both him and Ricciardo with soft tyres during the safety car intervention, and the mediums on Bottas’s Williams proved a better proposition. The Finn thus deprived the Russian of third, but fourth was nevertheless an honourable result. Ricciardo took a hit from Vettel in the first corner, and said that his car just lacked the pace to take the fight higher than fifth, though his pass on Massa in Turn 1 was mighty.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, P7
Sergio Perez, P8

Perez looked very good in the early laps and was a contender for a top six position until he lost pace mid-race as he was on a one-stop strategy. At the same time Hulkenberg got going because of his two-stop plan. The team gave the German fresh rubber under the safety car, but Perez stayed out. He did a great job not to fall prey to the likes of Verstappen, who had problems of his own, and nevertheless delighted his home crowd with eighth on a day when Force India further safeguarded their fifth place overall in the constructors’ championship.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, P9
Carlos Sainz, P13

Verstappen looked strong in the early going, moving as high as third for a lap during the first pit stops, but thereafter both his STR10 and team mate Sainz’s lacked pace in the latter half and fell prey to the Force Indias.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, P10
Pastor Maldonado, P11

The Safety Car helped the Lotuses, which lacked pace for much of the race. Grosjean and Maldonado had a great scrap, which was resolved for the final point in the Frenchman’s favour, by 0.8s. Interestingly, Maldonado was fastest through the speed trap at 366.4 km/h, or 227.4 mph…

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson, P12
Felipe Nasr, Retired lap 58, brakes

Both Sauber drivers ran into braking problems. Ericsson nevertheless managed to pass the struggling Sainz towards the finish, but Nasr had to park in Turn 13 after his C34 ran out of brakes altogether.

McLaren

Jenson Button, P14
Fernando Alonso, Retired lap 1, MGU-H

McLaren lost Alonso on the opening lap due to an MGU-H rotational speed problem that had been detected the previous night but could not be rectified because there was insufficient time. Button’s car lacked grunt on the straights, the Honda possibly suffering more in the high altitude than others, and was thus a sitting duck for faster cars, but the chassis showed well in sector three.

Marussia

Alex Rossi, P15
Will Stevens, P16

Rossi and Stevens had another major scrap. The Briton had the advantage early on as Rossi struggled on the soft tyre, but they were closed up after the safety car deployment, by which time Rossi was happier on mediums as Steven struggled on them after a change of strategy from a two- to a one-stopper. Rossi was closing rapidly at that point, and the safety car made his task of overtaking his team mate easier.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel, Retired lap 51, accident
Kimi Raikkonen, Retired lap 22, accident

Ferrari’s worst race of the season saw Raikkonen start from 19th after another engine change, then crash with Bottas on the 22nd lap. Vettel clashed with Ricciardo in Turn 1 at the start, sustained a puncture and pitted for fresh mediums, then later spun in Turn 8 on lap 17. Struggling to make up ground, he then crashed in Turn 7. It was the first time Ferrari did not have a car classified in a Grand Prix since Australia 2006.