Max Verstappen won the Mexico City Grand Prix with a dominant race to stretch his season championship lead over Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on Sunday. Teammate Sergio Perez was the first ever Mexican driver in race history to not only lead the race, but also to earn a podium on finishing third.
While Verstappen and Perez basked in the chants of “Ole! Ole!” from the massive crowd during the podium ceremony and Perez’s father passionately waved the Mexican flag, Hamilton could only watch and listen.
He had to know he’s running out of time and races to catch Verstappen in pursuit of a record eighth F1 season title.
Verstappen leads Hamilton in the championship by 19 points with four races left, starting next week in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Verstappen won in 2019 and likely will be favored to again.
The two have traded the lead several times this season, and crashed into each other twice, in F1’s tightest title chase in years.
Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas pulled a massive surprise in qualifying when the Mercedes cars earned their first front-row lockout of the season. Bottas was on pole to start, Hamilton second and Verstappen and Perez in third and fourth.
“Today with their superior speed, if they work to carry that into the next ones, we may be in trouble, or we will be in trouble,” Hamilton said.
Verstappen certainly isn’t taking anything for granted. The 24-year-old Dutchman is chasing his first F1 championship and earned his ninth win of the season, his second in a row and third in Mexico City in four years.
“I don’t believe in momentum,” Verstappen said. “Every single race we have to nail the details. … Its going to be really tight and exciting through to the end.”