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The secrets and techniques to Pink Bull and Verstappen’s Mexico domination

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It could have been a far cry from the strategic thriller of Austin or the late-rain chaos in Russia, however the Mexico Metropolis Grand Prix was nonetheless one other chapter within the story of this 12 months’s championship combat.

Max Verstappen took one other step in direction of his first F1 crown with a crushing win in opposition to Lewis Hamilton, delivering one among his most dominant drives of the season as he crossed the road 16 seconds away from the sector.

It was an vital response from Pink Bull after Mercedes had surprisingly locked out the entrance row of the grid in qualifying, however how did Verstappen win by such a giant margin?

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Pink Bull entered the weekend because the favorite for victory due to the way it has carried out at excessive downforce tracks this season. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez might not seem like a structure the place grip could be vital, however at greater than 2,000 metres of altitude, the skinny air means the set-up necessities are much like Monaco or Hungary.

Mercedes hasn’t been capable of match Pink Bull in terms of excessive downforce set-ups this season, which means it at all times seemed set to wrestle within the race.

Toto Wolff famous afterwards that even when Verstappen hadn’t handed each of his automobiles for the lead at Flip 1, the Pink Bull would have “pushed circles” round Mercedes as a result of its tempo benefit was so large.

However that Flip 1 second was additionally important for Verstappen’s win. It surprised lots of these within the paddock simply how late Verstappen was capable of get on the brakes earlier than swinging his Pink Bull into the nook to seize the lead away – a lot in order that Pink Bull boss Christian Horner thought Verstappen had missed his braking level.

It was one thing Verstappen had practiced on his laps to the grid, pulling as far to the left as potential to make use of the added grip on the racing line. When Valtteri Bottas failed to dam him off and left room for them to go three-wide into Flip 1, Verstappen knew precisely the place to purpose for.

He admitted afterwards that he was “actually on the sting” with the late braking transfer, however received it finished to the delight of the Pink Bull storage. It’s certainly one of many strikes of the season.

Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Sergio Perez, Pink Bull Racing RB16B, and the remainder of the sector in the beginning

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

With the lead secured, Verstappen was in a position to take a look at and comfortably put a giant hole between himself and Hamilton behind, which means he by no means seemed susceptible to shedding the race as he managed his tempo and tyres completely.

With the entire prime 10 beginning on mediums, it was a simple one-stop race. However Hamilton appeared to wrestle extra with tyre put on than the Pink Bulls as a result of hotter situations on race day.

With residence favorite Sergio Perez lurking lower than two seconds behind, Hamilton knew he needed to pit quickly or danger being undercut. Hamilton got here in for a set of hards on lap 29, however seemed susceptible to shedding the place to Perez when he emerged behind Charles Leclerc and misplaced time on his outlap.

However Pink Bull opted in opposition to responding instantly, as an alternative maintaining Perez out to create a tyre delta. As soon as Verstappen pitted on lap 33, it additionally gave Perez the honour of changing into the primary Mexican driver to guide his residence race in Method 1.

Perez finally pitted on lap 40, coming again out 9 seconds behind Hamilton, however the tyre benefit meant Perez shortly caught up, closing to inside one second to realize DRS coming into the ultimate levels of the race.

However the identical elements that performed to Pink Bull’s strengths in Mexico additionally make it so onerous to comply with different automobiles carefully with out overheating the automobile, due to the skinny air. It meant that regardless of how a lot Perez tried, he merely couldn’t get shut sufficient to Hamilton to attempt to overtake, which means the Mercedes driver held on for second place.

A great distance up the street although, Verstappen had no such points. He was even capable of interact in some gamesmanship to attempt to cease Bottas taking the quickest lap away, with out compromising his lead, ending the race with a bonus of 16 seconds.

He’s now 19 factors clear within the championship, which means Verstappen has the entire momentum as we head into the ultimate 4 races of the 2021 season.

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