Max Verstappen secured a dominant win in the Mexico City GP to take a potentially significant step in his quest to end Lewis Hamilton’s reign as world champion, opening his title lead to 19 points with four races left.
Hamilton just held off Mexico’s own Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s team-mate, for second place against a clearly-faster race car but first and third still represented a big comeback result for Red Bull after they were surprisingly outqualified by Mercedes.
Verstappen made light work of the Valtteri Bottas-Hamilton front row by impressively slipstreaming past both on an outside line at the start, decisively claiming a lead he never relinquished outside of the pit stops.
He won by 16.5s for a record third victory in Mexico and a ninth of a 2021 season where the momentum increasingly looks to be with the 24-year-old Dutchman in his engrossing fight with Hamilton for the drivers’ crown.
“You just have to congratulate Red Bull because their pace was on another level,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to Sky F1. “In the end for Lewis’ championship, it was damage limitation.”
Hamilton said: “Congratulations to Max, their car is far superior this weekend and there was nothing we could really do about it.”