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Verstappen: Mexican win ‘one of my easiest races’

29 Oct 2017

Mexico winner Max Verstappen has admitted that once the first-lap dramas were over, Sunday’s race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was among the most straightforward of the Red Bull driver’s F1 career.

Starting second on the grid, Verstappen seized the lead at the start despite minor contact with polesitter Sebastian Vettel through the opening turns, and from there he never looked back, dominating the Grand Prix to take victory by almost 20 seconds.

“Of course the start was very crucial,” said the Dutchman after his third F1 triumph. “I went round the outside, so that worked out well and from there on I was basically looking after the tyres.

“The car performed brilliantly in the race, so a big thanks to Red Bull as without them this wouldn't be possible. Of course you know after last week this is a perfect race. It was cruising, it was great.”

Verstappen conceded that his cause was not harmed by both Vettel and Lewis Hamilton being forced to pit after their own contact in that initial tussle for the lead, but his subsequent pace was such that he never looked like being beaten.

“That was good to see for me,” he said of the Vettel-Hamilton clash, “and from there on I just pulled away and did my race.

“I was confident that the car was going to be good, just looking at the long-run pace lap times. We just had to make sure the balance of the car was correct to be able to sustain that.

“The start itself was not great as I was very high in the limiter which is not great and I don't know why but it worked out perfect as I had a good tow from Sebastian and then went round the outside at Turn 1.

“From there on I was just doing my own race to be honest. This was one of my easiest races of my whole career.”

So easy in fact that Verstappen suggested he was looking for other ways to entertain himself in the latter stages of the race.

“I was so far in front I was like let's cut the corner so we get a five-second penalty and make it interesting,” he joked. “But no, it was a good race. I'm very happy about that and after last week this is a good result.”

Verstappen’s win, his second of the season, means he closes to within 30 points of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen – who finished third – in the battle for fifth place in the drivers’ championship, on 148 to the Finn’s 178.