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Verstappen easily beats Hamilton for record win

Max Verstappen became the first ever driver to win 14 races in a Formula One season with an easy triumph at the Mexican Grand Prix. 

Verstappen, who wrapped up his second world championship at the start of the month, led away from pole position and never looked likely to lose the victory. 

He has now surpassed Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2011)’s shared tally of 13 for the most victories in a single F1 calendar season. 

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes had looked well placed to challenge for a first victory of the season but faded in the second half of the race. 

Hamilton and teammate George Russell both switched off the medium tire to the hard tire at their pit-stop and it appeared to be the wrong decision, as Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez were able to go to the end on the medium tire. 

Both Hamilton and Russell told Mercedes during the race they felt it was the wrong tire, but Verstappen may not have been beatable even with a medium tire. 

Verstappen crossed the line 15 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Sergio Perez claiming the final step of the podium at his home race. 

Ferrari was a distant third in terms of the competitive order, with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc settling for a lonely fifth and sixth. 

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo drove an impressive race to seventh, overcoming a 10-second time penalty to claim valuable points for McLaren in their fight with Alpine. 

Ricciardo, who looks set to be out of 2023 after being sacked by McLaren earlier this year, clumsily collided with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda at Turn 5 while trying an opportunistic lunge on the inside.

The Australian, who endured an awful U.S. Grand Prix seven days ago, quickly passed both Alpine drivers to ensure he did not lose a place when the time penalty was applied. 

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon concluded ninth, ahead of Ricciardo’s McLaren teammate Lando Norris. 

Ocon’s teammate Fernando Alonso retired from the race with eight laps left with a car issue. When he got out of his car, the Spaniard punched the air in frustration. 

Valtteri Bottas, who had an impressive weekend for Alfa Romeo, held off Pierre Gasly at the end of the race to claim the final point of the race. 

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