After trailing Pink Bull in follow, Mercedes turned the tables by taking a entrance row lockout in qualifying as Bottas pipped Hamilton to pole.
However Verstappen managed to brush into the lead from third on the grid after a late-braking transfer across the exterior at Flip 1, gaining a bonus that he transformed right into a dominant race win to increase his factors lead over Hamilton within the title battle.
Hamilton famous after the race that Bottas had “left the door open” for Verstappen to move across the exterior, whereas the Dutchman admitted his overtake had been “really on the edge”.
Talking in Mercedes’ post-race debrief, motorsport technique director James Vowles defined how the quickest Flip 1 method of the 12 months in Mexico made it vital to plan out a technique.
Mercedes had meant for Bottas to utilize his grid place benefit to assist in giving Hamilton a tow to guard him from Verstappen behind.
“The technique and method to Flip 1 was fairly simple right here,” Vowles defined. “For Valtteri, if he had a very good begin, he was going to let Lewis tow alongside behind him and be sure that he lined off that menace from Verstappen.
“The begins, as they turned out, was that Valtteri had a barely worse begin than each Verstappen and Lewis – not quite a bit, round about 4 metres or so, nevertheless it was adequate that Lewis wasn’t capable of tuck up behind.
“Extra so, Verstappen’s begin being good meant he was alongside Valtteri very, in a short time. The results of that’s they ended up three-wide extremely rapidly and early on in the course of the run down into Flip 1.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Sergio Perez, Pink Bull Racing RB16B
Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
With the automobiles three-wide, Verstappen was capable of take the optimum racing line into Flip 1, leaving each Bottas and Hamilton scuffling with much less grip. However Vowles didn’t really feel that Verstappen’s line was sufficient to have led to such an enormous distinction below braking.
“Even so the variations in braking ought to have been a number of metres, not maybe the distinction that you just noticed,” Vowles stated.
“Finally the drivers braked the place they thought they may. In the event you noticed Verstappen’s feedback afterwards, it’s fairly clear that he was entering into there guessing and hoping for the most effective, and it labored out for him.
“We ended up dropping on the market because of it, and extra in order we went into it, as you noticed different automobiles maybe locking up – [Daniel] Ricciardo being considered one of them, [then] contact occurred and Valtteri received taken out and pushed to the again of the grid.”
Vowles stated that Pink Bull had “a a lot better automotive” than Mercedes within the race, however felt there may have been extra strategic choices had the staff held on to its benefit with each automobiles.
“Had we received away and been in first and second, I believe there was a very good probability that we’d have been capable of defend towards the Pink Bulls all race,” Vowles stated.
“Conversely, if we had been first however we had each Pink Bulls tucked behind us in second and third, I believe it might have been awfully tough to carry on to the race lead. They may have stopped one automotive early, one automotive late and finally, we’d have been a compromise with these two automobiles.
“The place we completed up, P2 with Lewis, was actually appropriate based mostly on efficiency sadly after the beginning had occurred, and I’m joyful we held on to it.
“It was a defensive technique we employed all race. After all, in Valtteri’s case actually, he walked away with far lower than he deserved. Had he not been hit in Flip 1, we actually ought to have walked away with fourth at worst and third extra realistically.”