Red Bull fans will rejoice after a very successful race in Mexico City this weekend. It wasn’t the most exciting race of the season but there was still plenty to learn from the Mexican Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen won the race with hardly an issue. He was so fast! His brilliant overtake of both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas coming into turn one pretty much ensured his victory. Once he was ahead, no one was catching him. Whatever Red Bull did to that car since Austin has certainly paid off. Verstappen has now extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s championship.
Sergio Perez did an amazing job this weekend on his home track. He became the first Mexican to finish on the podium in Mexico City so congratulations must be given there. Perez seems like he’s far more comfortable in the Red Bull now. He isn’t sitting just outside the top five any longer.
Perez has shown that he can take the heat and pressure that comes with driving a Red Bull. During the next four races, Perez has to be on his A-game because the title fight between Hamilton and Verstappen will go the very end and Red Bull need a second driver who can assist Verstappen and isn’t stuck somewhere in the pack.
Check out the messy opening lap below.
It was a strong qualifying for the Mercs but what a dismal day for the team once the race started. Bottas was out for the count after being spun by Daniel Ricciardo in what was deemed a racing incident. Right down to the back of grid for Bottas where he stayed and finished P15.
So much of the misfortune that faced Bottas in Mexico was hardly his fault. But it has showed us again that once Bottas is stuck in the pack, he cannot escape. He just doesn’t seem to have the capacity to do so despite the power of the Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton didn’t really do anything wrong either. The Red Bulls were simply faster. Hamilton stated on the team radio many times that Verstappen was just too quick. Perez had a chance to steal P2 from Hamilton but that wasn’t meant to be. Perez isn’t quite there when it comes to battling Hamilton.
Mercedes will almost certainly be looking into the significant performance improvements that Red Bull were able to pull off. The title fight is too close to simply give up on development now.
Ferrari had a solid race. Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz sat comfortably in P5 and P6. Once the first lap was over, they were hardly racing anyone especially since the McLarens were nowhere to be found. Neither Leclerc nor Sainz could catch Gasly who has really been the secret second rival for Ferrari.
The team have extended their lead against McLaren by simply being more consistent than McLaren. McLaren might have had higher highs this season, but Ferrari have delivered a solid showing almost every race. Since Ferrari’s goals are simply to achieve P3 in the constructor’s this year, it’s safe to say that they are succeeding. They just aren’t very flashy about it.
Pierre Gasly has been nothing but consistent at AlphaTauri. So much so that people have been wondering if he will get the second seat at Red Bull again. And while that would be nice and fair in an ideal world, the fact of the matter is that Red Bull like where Gasly is. It’s where he is most effective for them. Disrupting the midfield and ensuring that no one can sneak up on the leaders and ruin their plans.
Gasly is one of the heads of the midfield there’s no denying that, but will he get to see action in a leading team again? Probably, but not any time soon. He is still very young, and he will get another chance but when you look at the grid as it stands now, where else is Gasly to go?
Ferrari have the best driver duo on the grid so that’s not changing. Red Bull are perfectly happy with Perez. Mercedes have George Russell coming. McLaren have a good thing going as well with their drivers. So where does Gasly go?
Not much to say here. It was a lacklustre performance from both drivers, but Lando Norris did climb the grid far better than both Ricciardo and Bottas could. Ricciardo was poised to fight up with the Ferrari’s when he qualified P7 but that collision with Bottas took his front wing and that was it. Though he did keep Bottas behind him the entire race, much to Bottas’ chagrin, I’m sure.
It’s been an interesting second half of the season for McLaren. On the one hand, Daniel Ricciardo has improved drastically, on the other, Lando Norris seems to be slipping. Norris isn’t experiencing a catastrophic slip or anything like that, but he isn’t shining like he was during the earlier races of 2021. Still, P3 in the constructor’s is still very much a possibility for McLaren and they won’t be giving it up easy.