A thrilling Mexican Grand Prix was won by Max Verstappen with an expected one-stop strategy, but an early collision between title protagonists Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) forced them both onto different two-stop strategies.
After pitting for soft tyres at the end of the opening lap, they both used a virtual safety car halfway through the race to switch on to supersoft (for Hamilton) and ultrasoft (for Vettel). But as Vettel did not finish in the top two, Hamilton could claim his fourth drivers’ title – and his third with Pirelli.
Along with Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Sergio Perez, Hamilton and Vettel were the only drivers to stop twice. All the other drivers stopped just once, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen the highest-placed competitor to use the soft (rather than the supersoft) for his second stint.
Mario Isola - Head Of Car Racing:
“The collision on the opening lap and the virtual safety car meant that Hamilton and Vettel both had to diverge from the expected one-stop strategy, adding an extra tactical element to this race. Keeping the tyres within the correct operating window was essential, with low degradation, minimal downforce in the thin air, and a slippery surface in Mexico, but Verstappen managed this perfectly to seal a textbook victory. We saw all three compounds used during the race, with teams implementing different strategies to react to the changing circumstances of this fascinating grand prix, and no issues whatsoever from the tyres. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for a well-deserved fourth driver’s title, following a stunning season.”