Max Verstappen took home his second win this season in a drama-filled Mexican Grand Prix which also saw Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel collide and survive and most important of all, Hamilton getting his fourth world title.
The Dutchman got an early lead when he aggressively overtook Vettel in Turn 1 after a slight contact with the German and he maintained his lead throughout the rest of the race clocking a total time of 1:36’26.550.
Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas came 19.6 later and finished second followed by Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen.
Although Vettel came in fourth and cut Hamilton’s championship lead to only 56 points, with only 50 points left in the season, the British driver clinched the title.
Hamilton started third on the grid and went into a three-car chain with Verstappen and Vettel at Turn 1. But he backed out as the other two opponents fought for the inside line and relaunched a fresh attack.
A contact with Vettel’s Ferrari caused a puncture in Hamilton’s right-rear tyre and damaged his front wing forcing him to pit for a tyre change. Vettel’s front nose also suffered some damaging which forced the German to pit.
Vettel changed tyres from ultrasofts to softs and got a new front wing and re-joined the race at 19th while Hamilton followed a similar tyre strategy and re-joined at 20th.
Once title fighters pitted, Force India’s Esteban Ocon took the third ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Lance Stroll.
After re-joining, Vettel sliced through the bottom order and climbed up to seventh while Hamilton struggled to move forward in the ranks.
The virtual safety car was deployed after Brendon Hartley’s engine failure and Race leader Verstappen used the chance to pit along with Bottas and Räikkönen. The three drivers re-joined in the same order. Vettel and Hamilton also pitted, switching to ultrasofts and supersofts, respectively.
The two world champions then started to salvage their positions with Vettel overtaking Kevin Magnussen to get to the seventh while Hamilton passed Romain Grosjean, and others to climb to 12th.
Vettel moved to the inside line on Perez to take the sixth at Turn 4 and then passed Stroll in Turn 1 to get to fifth and then turned his attention to Ocon.
The German quickly caught up with Ocon and using DRS blasted past the Frenchman into Turn 1 to climb up to fourth. Räikkönen was 24 seconds ahead and had only 14 laps to go. Hearing of the gap, Vettel exclaimed: “Mamma Mia, that’s a little bit too much” and ended the race in fourth.
After the VSC deployment, Hamilton could pass Vandoorne easily and moved past Massa at Turn 1 to get to 10th and after a spectacular battle with Alonso claimed 9th.
Hamilton joined the ranks of Vettel and Alain Prost as a four world title holders.
This was Ocon’s second fifth place in the season and he was followed by Stroll, Perez and Magnussen.
Ricciardo started 16th after grid penalties for power unit change and came as high as seventh but the Aussie had to retire after just five laps because of engine problems.
Marcus Ericsson was running within the points range during the early laps but had to retire towards the end due to a brake-by-wire failure.
Both Renault cars also retired due to engine trouble. Apart from Verstappen, almost all Renault engines retired in the race today.