All the updates from Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City
Hello and welcome to our F1Mexican Grand Prix live blog, where we’ll have all the details and updates from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. As ever, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are expected to battle it out for top spot, but Valterri Bottas proved why he should never be ruled out after gaining pole position in Saturday’s Mexican GP qualifying.
This is the start of our F1 live blog, with all our updates from the Mexican Grand Prix following below. As always, the entries nearest the tops are the most recent ones.
With more points gained for Max Verstappen in the title race, now Lewis Hamilton needs a big response as the F1 circus heads to Sao Paulo. Change your tunes from mariachi to samba, we’re Interlagos bound! Join us next week for yet more drama and the third sprint race of the year, and we all know what’s happened at the other two…
A nod to those outside the podium places who have had very good days under the Mexican sun. Pierre Gasly was comfortbaly clear of the rest of the midfield in fourth and Ferrari overtake McLaren in the constructors’ standings with fifth and sixth. Lando Norris also drove well to recover from his engine change penalties to the final point.
Completely dominant once again from the championship leader, Max Verstappen wins for the third time in Mexico but Bottas snatches the fastest lap on the final tour. Hamilton does hold off Perez for second, but it’s still a home podium for the Mexican who will be delighted with that despite failing to pass Hamilton.
It could be a little too late for Perez but he is back to just a second off the back of Hamilton for second as Leclerc repasses Sainz who didn’t get anywhere near close enough to Gasly for fourth.
Alonso and Russell move over to allow Hamilton some much needed clear air as his temperatures were rising, but Perez is held up more than the Brit so the gap is back out to two seconds but Verstappen is 20 seconds clear of his title rival. Bottas has pitted for soft tyres to try and take the fastest lap away from the Dutchman.
Lando Norris is finally close enough to Hamilton to get the blue flags so he lets both cars through and he now has the best seat in the house to watch this battle but Hamilton has almost a second over Perez now. Norris‘ race isn’t over yet if these two can catch Alonso it will bring him into the conversation for ninth.
Sergio Perez‘s engineer comes over the radio and ensures his driver that everything is fine with his Red Bull and he gets the all clear to attack Hamilton to the end. Hamilton is struggling to catch the lapped Norris ahead which means the McLaren has had no blue flags to worry about. This is about to get very interesting.
Much fresher tyres on Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari means he has closed to within two seconds of his teammate and the airwaves indicate there may be a switch of position soon to allow Sainz a chance of catching Gasly in fourth, but the move hasn’t come yet as the gap isn’t close enough for the Monagasque to step aside. Perez is just two seconds off Hamilton now and with every 10th of a second the crowd get more encouraged. Leclerc does eventually let Sainz through between turns eight and nine.
Bottas has been one of the fastest drivers on track recently and he’s latched onto the back of Ricciardo once again, but this time, the Australian is on the rear of Giovinazzi who has very worn hard tyres on his Alfa Romeo. It shouldn’t be too long before both of these overtake the Italian and they can resume their battle once more.
All the attention may be at the front but it’s worth a mention for the experienced among us. Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso run seventh, eighth and ninth respectively and are showing some of the youngsters how it’s done, but Alonso has the McLaren of Norris beginning to close in with the much fresher set of tyres. Perez meanwhile gets the gap to Hamilton to under six seconds.
A very good stint from the Brit but it is still hard tyres meaning no gamble today. He rejoins in 10th and now he can push to the max to try and catch Alonso ahead. AWS believe Perez will be within ‘striking distance’ of Hamilton in 13 laps but the overtake difficulty meter is very high. Some Mexican magic could be needed and the crowd will need to help their favourite.
The second Ferrari stop of the day is as smooth as silk, ensuring Sainz returns to the track in sixth. That leaves just Lando Norris out on his original set of medium tyres as Vettel starts to close in on the papaya machine. Surely he is going to the soft tyres now, although no one else has done so today.
It’s the hard tyres for the home hero who sees Hamilton go by and then some as he exits pit lane, but he now has the advantage of younger tyres all the way to the chequered flag and we could be set up for a grandstand finish for second. Bottas also pits for a second time and it’s a terrible stop from the champions which drops the pole sitter behind the man who is taking his seat next year, George Russell.
There’s no sign of a pit stop yet from Red Bull which opens up the possibility of switching to the soft tyres and going for a late race charge towards Lewis Hamilton. Ricciardo pits for a second time to go back to the medium tyres while his teammate is still out on his original set of mediums as is Sainz and Alonso.
Huge cheers from the native supporters as Sergio Perez inherits the lead from Max Verstappen who has an issue-free stop and emerges seven seconds clear of Hamilton. Perez becomes the first Mexican to lead his home Grand Prix in the process. Vettel and Raikkonen also pit and come out ahead of the battling Ricciardo and Bottas.
No games from the Red Bull stable as Gasly pits from just ahead of Hamilton which opens up a big space on the circuit for Hamilton to put his quick laps in, which looks to have ensured he stays ahead of Perez when the Mexican pits. Verstappen is still comfortably clear out front as Gasly maintains position over Leclerc.
Mercedes pull the trigger first and Hamilton comes out behind Leclerc which could open the door for Perez to pump in some fast laps. It was a decent enough stop from Mercedes but even this one lap behind Leclerc, who pits next time by, could be costly.
It’s Bottas‘ best chance yet into turn one but he is just too far away as they hit the brakes and he has to drop in behind again, surely it’s only a matter of time before he makes a move with Verstappen closing in on them to lap them.
A very strange message over the radio from Hamilton: “These guys are obviously too quick for us.” is a very negative thing to hear if you’re a Mercedes fan, but that gives all the motivation to Sergio Perez who is given the morale boosting message of “Go get him” by his team. Bottas meanwhile is feeling the effects of the Mercedes struggles as he is still staring at the Dewalt sponsorship on the rear of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren.
Another fastest lap from race leader Max Verstappen who has extended his lead to nearly eight seconds now as Hamilton just cannot do the lap times needed to stay close. The other Red Bull looks most likely to throw a spanner in the works with just two seconds separating Hamilton and Perez. It’s all gone a bit quiet on track and in pit lane as the game of chicken continues.
The first of the top 10 has changed their boots, Antonio Giovinazzi has put the hard tyres and he’s only just passed by Ricciardo and Bottas who continue to cycle at the rear of those who are yet to stop, but the leaders all look likely to get out well ahead of the pair.
Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll are the first two drivers to pit and there is nearly contact as they go wheel-to-wheel into the first chicane. Latifi tries to hang it round the outside of turn two but he’s forced to slam on the brakes as Stroll cuts to the apex of three. No movement from the leaders yet.
Alonso saw his old adversary do it a lap earlier, now he passes George Russell into turn one and that move takes him into the points. The super start of the Williams is being undone by a lack of pace with Latifi being overtaken by Norris and Ocon. Norris has also made his way past the Haas of Mazepin which is enjoying a rare spell in the midfield so far.
Fastest laps galore for Max Verstappen who is now neeafrly three seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton in second. The seven-time champion wins the award for obvious statement of the day; “He’s quick” is all he says on the radio. Raikkonen moves up to ninth round the outside of Russell into turn one. It’s a good day so far for Alfa Romeo.
Here we go again, this time with little drama as Verstappen nails the restart and is under no threat from Hamilton into the first turn. Sainz makes a move on Giovinazzi for sixth while battles ensue outside of the top ten. Bottas has dropped behind Ricciardo at the back of the train which doesn’t help his charge forward.
We’re racing in Mexico! It’s a great start for Verstappen who goes around the outside of both Mercedes to lead the race. Bottas is tagged by Ricciardo and spins to the back of the grid while the McLaren has no front wing. Tsunoda is out of the race already after contact with an Alpine. Mick Schumacher is also going no further for Haas. The safety car is deployed with Hamilton second ahead of Perez, Gasly and Leclerc. Giovinazzi is up to sixth ahead of Sainz, Vettel, Russell and Raikkonen. Bottas and Ricciardo have both pitted.
Time for the talking to stop, the green lights are on and this will be the final lap the drivers get to scout out the conditions before they’re heading flat out towards the first turn. The tension is palpable and we can’t wait for this to get underway!
For the first time in what feels like a decade, there’s no need to look at the forecast. Clear blue skies and warm weather has blessed the Mexican capital for today’s Grand Prix and the strategy should be a simple one stop across the grid too. That makes the start even more important with a whopping 811m run to the braking zone which could help Red Bull starting from the second row with ample opportunity for a slipstream. There will be no repeat of Fernando Alonso‘s clever excursion at Sochi though as the FIA have issued a warning that anyone who cuts the opening chicane must give up any advantage gained.
The eye-catching ceremony put on in the stadium section of the race track has ended, which means it’s time for cars to hit the track. The pit lane is open and cars are rolling out to enormous cheers from the 140,000 spectators at the circuit. Unsurprisingly, it’s Sergio Perez who gets the loudest cheer by some margin. It’s another memorable atmosphere after the 24 hour party that Austin provided two weeks ago.
There’s no doubting who everyone inside the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is supporting today. Sergio Perez has his best starting position in his career in Mexico and the pace of the Red Bull means he is very much in the conversation for victory after successive podiums in Istanbul and Austin. He hasn’t finished higher than seventh on home soil in his F1 career so far, but the party would be as wild as they come should he do the business today.
Who is going to win this Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix? Will Valtteri Bottas drive from pole position to victory? Or will one of Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen earn a vital victory? Could it be a home win for Sergio Perez? Or, will we see something else? Have your say in our poll.
The Mexican Grand Prix was cancelled last year in the coronavirus-impacted season, so the last time we had an F1 race in Mexico City was in 2019. Then, it was Lewis Hamilton who won, his second victory in Mexico.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is ready to welcome thousands of F1 fans for this Mexican Grand Prix. This is always an atmospheric race, while the circuit itself is one of the shorter ones on the F1 calendar at just 4.3km.
The Mexican Grand Prix starts at 20:00 CET, which is 19:00 GMT, on Sunday, November 7. That is 13:00 local time and 14:00 Eastern Time in the United States, making it 11:00 Pacific Time. You can watch it in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports Main Event and in the USA on ABC.
Let’s start this Mexican Grand Prix live blog by recapping the results of Saturday’s qualifying. Keeping in mind that Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon will all serve grid penalties and start further back, this was how the quaifying session ended.
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