But given the yellow flag infringement, Verstappen's time was erased and the WA boy was quick to stamp his authority. "That was a tough race but stuck in there". If you've seen races before, I always leave Max a lot of space, it's the smartest thing you can do. "That was for Bono".
Hamilton thrilled a massive crowd of more than 120 000 inside the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a demonstration of "doughnut spins" before he - and his vehicle - celebrated on the podium.
Bottas made his one and only stop on lap 37 with Vettel following him a lap later.
"My front tyres are dead", complained Leclerc, shortly before a slow second stop on lap 44 in 6.2 seconds. "It was just. he's a magnet for those kind of things, nonetheless, I managed to keep the vehicle together and in a straight line, fortunately". The 34-year-old racer said that he is quite concerned about the environmental issues around the world and he wants to reduce his carbon footprint.
"Thankfully he's ok", said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff.
"We came here thinking we were on the back foot, knowing that it's a hard race for us but we pulled through".
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he gives Max Verstappen "extra space" when the two come race together on track. It seemed like a long second stint.
Bottas, the only driver with a mathematical chance of denying Hamilton the title, qualified sixth but with questions about possible grid penalties.
After winning his last two titles in Mexico without even finishing on the podium, it was ironic for Hamilton to win but know he has to wait for a sixth coronation.
He leaves Mexico City, where he tied up the championship in both the last two seasons, with a 74-point lead over Bottas, the only man who can mathematically beat him. There may well have been some extenuating circumstances regarding the signalling of the yellow flag in his cockpit, but it was his attitude afterwards that indicated he fully understood what happened to Bottas and the risks involved and stayed flat-out regardless.
Asked about the incident, Hamilton said: "I actually got a really good start, so I was pulling up to Charles and Seb is coming across, coming across, coming across and I'm thinking "I'm on the white line, I don't have anywhere further to go".
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