Thursday, 15 November, 2018

F1 Raceweek: Red Bull battle could suit champion-elect Hamilton

Max Verstappen Mexican GP 2018 Max Verstappen Mexican GP 2018
Sergio Cook | 01 November, 2018, 14:41

However, a stunning race unfolded that will likely be this season's signature event as Hamilton charged through the field as rain played havoc at Hockenheim.

"There were several different problems on the whole auto". "We were struggling. I was trying to hold on and bring the auto home".

Team boss Christian Horner agreed Ricciardo had pulled off a stunner, with the team locking out the front row for the first time in the V6 turbo hybrid era that started in 2014.

"Today's race was not the best way to finish the season for Mercedes in a race like that, but whatever, it doesn't matter - who cares", he added.

Hamilton had gone into the 71-lap race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a virtually unassailable 70-point lead over closest title rival Sebastian Vettel, who finished second ahead of his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

After a strong start from Hamilton, leap-frogging Ricciardo to slot in behind Verstappen for second, his race soon began to unravel.

A defeated Ricciardo took aim at his vehicle after a hydraulics failure forced him out of the race with only 10 laps to go while in podium position.

Verstappen was clearly frustrated by the result, bumping the second-place board as he arrived on the start-finish straight. A furious jump off the line beat Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to the first corner, and Verstappen was off and running toward an easy race for his fifth career victory.

The rivalry within the Red Bull ranks has not escaped Vettel's attention either.

A four-time champion himself, Vettel opened the season with a strong charge of two straight victories only to see Mercedes snatch wins while their own auto faded for a long stretch.

Lewis Hamilton will celebrate winning the world championship with his dogs in Los Angeles, the triumphant Briton revealed on Sunday night. I don't see the point of doing the next two races.

Hamilton spent much of the grand prix at odds with his team as he struggled for pace, and then dramatically ran off the road while defending third position from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

"He drove superb all year".

"It's a frightful moment", said Vettel, a four-time champion who has finished second two years in a row and three times in his career.

"Number five is incredible".

Ferrari hasn't won the driver's championship since 2007 and Hamilton gave a nod of respect to the season title fight with Vettel. "The pressure that he would be under. that's a lot to ride on one's shoulders".

The Ferrari pair battled on lap one, dropping Vettel into the clutches of Hamilton to precipitate a collision which dropped the German through the field.

"The vehicle. I'll let Gasly drive it, I'm done with it".

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, drives his vehicle during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. "It was the most costly one, but it's part of racing", Vettel said.

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