Rate the Race and driver of the weekend. Round 18, Mexico2019
Rate the race: Mean Reader score 6.99, Rated 8/18 races so far
This year’s score of 6.99 was slightly higher than the 6.42 of 2018, and the 6.84 and 6.45 and 4.70 from 2017/16/15, and was rated 8th out of the 18 races so far this season.
Hamilton needed to score 14 points more than team mate Bottas to wrap up this year’s WDC and make it his sixth driver’s title. It was not to be, so Hamilton (provided he scores 4 points more than Bottas) will have to wait until Austin before he can wrap that title up for this year.
Verstappen may have had the fastest lap of Q3 but earned himself a three place grid penalty for not slowing under yellow flag. This meant Ferrari locked out the front row with Leclerc in P1 and Vettel in P2.
What could possibly go wrong? Well, Verstappen and Hamilton collided on the first corner with Verstappen dropping back through the field. His woes did not end there: after playing a blinder overtaking Bottas into the hairpin he picked up a puncture and emerged from the pits plumb last.
Lando Norris pitted and almost, but not quite exited, with a wobbly front left wheel. He stopped before crossing the white line in the pit lane, meaning his pit crew could push him back to his box and re-fit the aforementioned wheel. Not the fastest of pitstops.
Verstappen had more contact (this time with Magnussen). A scrap between Gasly and Sainz for P12 resulted in them slowing the race leader by a couple of seconds AND whacking Vettel’s front end to boot.
Not to be outdone, team-mate Leclerc then lost four seconds via a really slow pit stop (really, Ferrari, you had BOTH cars on the front row!!!). Perez and Ricciardo had a coming together as did Kvyat and Hulkenberg (sadly ending Hulkenberg’s race as he spun and rear-ended the wall, losing two championship points).
Bottas attempted to undercut Vettel but that didn’t work as he finished third behind Vettel, as Hamilton took yet another victory, but not another championship.
Driver of the Weekend: Lewis Hamilton, 48.86% of reader vote.
Having been promoted to P3 as a result of Verstappen’s penalty, a podium was as good as Hamilton was hoping this race. Not so. Although he did not completely agree with his team’s strategy decision to put him on a one stop strategy, once again the team proved they knew what was best and Hamilton won yet another race.
Pitting early (lap23) from medium to hard tyres, he fought off the competition to gain yet another trophy for his cabinet. Next week seems likely to be the race where Lewis will wrap up his sixth WDC. Well done Lewis!!