Hamilton keeps title hopes alive with Mexico win

By on Sunday, October 30, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton moved level with Alain Prost on the all-time winners' list with a dominant victory at the Mexican Grand Prix after a turn-one scare, but championship leader Nico Rosberg limited the damage by taking second.

Hamilton locked-up into the first corner and ran across the grass, but retained his lead, while Rosberg too held station despite being forced off the track by Max Verstappen.

Hamilton was unchallenged thereafter, crossing the line more than eight seconds clear of his team-mate, but the German's 19-point championship advantage means he can clinch his first F1 title with victory next time out in Brazil.

The largely processional race finished in dramatic circumstances as Verstappen battled with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo for the final podium spot. Verstappen maintained third place under attack from Vettel by running across at the grass at the first corner following a lock-up, emulating Hamilton, but refused to yield despite being instructed to do so by the Red Bull pit-wall.

An incensed Vettel, who voiced his frustration explosively over the radio, was then forced to fend off Ricciardo as he dived up the inside into turn four, with both somehow avoiding damage.

Verstappen crossed the line third and was preparing to take his place on the podium before being hit with a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, with Vettel instead joining the Mercedes duo on the rostrum.

The Dutchman was demoted to fifth, promoting his team-mate to fourth in the process, while Kimi Raikkonen took sixth place after passing Nico Hulkenberg in the dying stages, leaving the Force India driver quite literally in a spin.

Renault-bound Hulkenberg survived to finish seventh ahead of Williams rivals Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with the latter prevailing in a race-long duel with Sergio Perez, leaving the home favourite to complete the points.

Sauber remain rooted to the foot of the constructors' standings as Marcus Ericsson just missed out on points in P11, while McLaren endured a frustrating afternoon, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button 12th and 13th respectively.

Jolyon Palmer took 14th ahead of Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz, penalised for forcing compatriot Alonso onto the grass on the first lap, while Kevin Magnussen was forced to settle for P17.

Daniil Kvyat finished 18th and was another to be hit with penalty after being adjudged to have caused a collision with Romain Grosjean, who wound up 20th behind team-mate Esteban Gutierrez on a miserable afternoon for Haas.

Esteban Ocon was the last classified finisher, with Pascal Wehrlein the sole retiree following turn-one contact with Ericsson.

Just two races now remain in the 2016 season.

 

 


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