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F1 in Mexico: Verstappen beats Hamilton, extends his points lead

Mexico City, MEX, Nov 7/21 (GRW): The two Mercedes started from the front row but Max Verstappen took the lead on the very first lap and he was never seriously challenged again all the way to the checkered flag. Lewis Hamilton stayed on his tail the entire race and he finished 17 seconds behind – with Max’s Fred Bull teammate Sergio Perez hanging in to finish third and become the first Mexican to stand on the podium of a Mexican Grand Prix.

The Rodriguez brothers may be national race driver heros here – and the stadium though which the cars race is named after them – but Pérez has renewed this Mexican passion for its Grand Prix drivers with Pérez their man for today.

Going into the race it was reckoned that the Red Bull cars had a speed advantage over the Mercedes cars here – but, in qualifying – the Mercedes cars prevailed with Valtteri Bottas won the pole with Hamilton on the front row alongside him.

Come the race start and things turned out differently. Bottas was spun off the track and he fell to the back of the field while Verstappen managed to get past Hamilton to take the race lead. Verstappen led the rest of the way – except for a six-lap segment after his only pit stop mid-race. His teammate Pérez took over the lead until he pitted on lap 40 of the 71-lap race.

This restored the order as Verstappen, Hamilton, Pérez and that was the way it continued to the checker. In the closing laps, Pérez was able to close up on Hamilton to withing DRS striking distance – with an enthusiastic home crowd cheering him on. But he was not quite able to make the pass and he had to settle for third a second behind Hamilton.

Verstappen’s win extended his lead in the points race; he now leads Hamilton with 312.5 points to Hamilton’s 293.5, by 19 points – so, with four more Grands Prix remaining , the championship is far from decided yet. The one-three result for the Red Bull team leaves them a single point behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship.

Finishing behind the podium three were Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz. As for the Canadians, Lance Stroll finished 14th and Nicolas Latifi was 17th – both two laps down on the race winner.

The next F1 Grand Prix will be held the São Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil next Sunday, November 14th.

• Click HERE for the Race Results
• Click HERE for the drivers’ championship points standings.

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