F1: Verstappen charges to record 16th win of season

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 30, 2023
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Red Bull's Max Verstappen took a record-breaking 16th Grand Prix win in a single season with victory in Sunday's Mexico City Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez of Mexico crashes at the first corner during the final race of the 2023 F1 Mexico City Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit in Mexico City, Mexico on Oct. 29, 2023. (Photo by Song Haiyuan/Xinhua)

Starting third on the grid, Verstappen passed both Ferraris to lead into Turn 1 and headed into an untroubled run at the front.

The race was halted on Lap 34 to repair damage to the barriers caused by a heavy shunt for Kevin Magnussen, but Verstappen dealt serenely with the pressure of a second standing start, pulling away from pole position to settle into a typically dominant lead he would keep to the chequered flag.

"We are experiencing an incredible season," said Verstappen afterwards.

"Today, we started P3 but the pace of the car was very, very good.

"We tried to do a different strategy to everyone else but unfortunately with the red flag we couldn't show it, but nevertheless with the Hard tires we were very strong."

While Verstappen took a comfortable win, it was a torrid day for the Dutchman's under-pressure teammate Sergio Perez. The Mexican had been desperate to do well in front of his home crowd, but was pitched into a spin by Charles Leclerc as he attempted to go around the outside of the Ferrari at the first corner.

Though Perez made it back to the pits, he was forced to retire due to damage to his Red Bull's sidepod and floor, and banged his steering wheel in visible frustration.

Behind Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton took a strong second place for Mercedes, with the Ferrari duo of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fading to finishing third and fourth, after having started first and second.

A terrific drive from Lando Norris saw the McLaren driver finish fifth from 19th on the grid following a deleted lap time in qualifying, with Hamilton's teammate George Russell sixth.

Daniel Ricciardo finished a fine seventh for his first points of the season, helping AlphaTauri rise from tenth to eighth in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of fellow Australian Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren.

Alex Albon took ninth for Williams, with Esteban Ocon rounding out the top ten in his Alpine.

Following his record win, Verstappen's points total stands at 491. Despite not scoring, Perez remains second on 240, with Hamilton third on 220.

In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull's huge lead now stands at 731. Mercedes are second with 371, and Ferrari sit third on 349.

The next round of the 2023 F1 World Championship is the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on November 5.

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