Mexican Grand Prix: Race Recap

Event:  Mexican Grand Prix (Round 19 of 21)

Date:  Sunday, Oct. 28

Location:  Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City

Layout:  4.304-kilometer (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit

Weather:  Partly cloudy

Air Temps:  19.2-21.7 degrees Celsius (66.6-71.1 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps:  32.5-38.6 degrees Celsius (90.5-101.5 degrees Fahrenheit)

Race Winner:  Max Verstappen of Red Bull

Haas F1 Team:

●  Kevin Magnussen – Started 16th, Finished 15th (Running, completed 69/71 laps)

●  Romain Grosjean – Started 18th, Finished 16th (Running, completed 68/71 laps)

Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean wrapped up a difficult Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday by finishing 15th and 16th, respectively, in the 71-lap contest at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

The third-to-last round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship proved to be a challenge in qualifying and in the race, as Magnussen started 16th and Grosjean started 19th after neither was able to make it out of the first round of knockout qualifying on Saturday.

In the race, the two attempted to take advantage of varying tire strategies up and down the pit lane, and even with Magnussen rising to as high as ninth and Grosjean climbing all the way to 11th, both fell to the back of the line after their respective pit stops on laps 43 and 44 where they swapped the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires they started the race with for Purple ultrasofts. The duo was the last of those still running at the conclusion of the race around the 4.304-kilometer (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit, as four drivers failed to finish.

Haas F1 Team maintained fifth in the constructors’ standings despite the result. Nineteen rounds into the 21-race Formula One schedule, the American squad trails fourth-place Renault by 30 points and holds a 22-point advantage over sixth-place McLaren.

Max Verstappen scored his second straight win in the Mexican Grand Prix by an impressive 17.316 seconds over Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The win was the fifth of Verstappen’s Formula One career and his second this season. The Red Bull driver is the first repeat winner at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez since Formula One’s return to the track in 2015. Nico Rosberg won the inaugural event on the new circuit in 2015 and Lewis Hamilton was victorious in 2016.

Hamilton finished fourth in the Mexican Grand Prix to clinch his fifth Formula One title with still two races remaining. He is now tied for second in all-time championships with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. Only Michael Schumacher, with seven championships, has more.

This is Hamilton’s second straight championship, with last year’s crown also being clinched in Mexico City. It marks the fifth time the Formula One title has been earned in Mexico City. In addition to Hamilton’s title last year, where a ninth-place finish secured his spot at the top of the standings, John Surtees took his sole title in Mexico in 1964 with Ferrari, Brabham’s Denny Hulme took his only championship in Mexico in 1967, and Graham Hill won his second Formula One crown in Mexico with Lotus in 1968.

Magnussen is ninth in the driver’s championship with 53 points and Grosjean is 13th with 31 points.

The penultimate event on the Formula One schedule is the Brazilian Grand Prix on Nov. 11 at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo.

“It’s been a very tough day. We didn’t get what we were expecting on the ultrasofts. On the supersofts, we made it as good as we could for as long as we could. We got the maximum out of the tire life. Then on the ultrasofts, we were having problems we were just not expecting. There was a lot of rear degradation. I decided to pit again under the final VSC (Virtual Safety Car). It didn’t make a difference in finishing with Kevin. It was very close. Just a tough day.”

“We had gotten ourselves into a good position, then we pitted around lap 40. When we got out onto the ultrasoft tire though, it just didn’t work at all. I mean, if we want great racing, we need tires. That just wasn’t possible today with these tires. It’s tough, but we move on.”

“The only good thing about this weekend is that it ended. There’s nothing good to take away from here. We were just too slow and we couldn’t get the tires to work. We move on to the next one.”

The penultimate event of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Brazilian Grand Prix at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo. Practice begins Nov. 9, qualifying takes place Nov. 10 and the race runs Nov. 11.