Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took a dominant victory in the Mexico City Grand Prix to break his own record for wins in a single Formula 1 season.
Set up by passing the front-row Ferraris at the start, Verstappen’s victory was his 16th in 2023 in what is becoming one of the most dominant seasons in history.
Verstappen had to negotiate a safety car and a red flag but was untroubled once into the lead at Turn One.
Lewis Hamilton moved up from sixth on the grid in his Mercedes to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in a battle for the remaining podium positions.
Behind them, Carlos Sainz fended off George Russell to win another Ferrari-Mercedes battle over fourth place, before Lando Norris passed his fellow Briton for fifth with four laps to go.
It was a lovely move, set up by a cut back through Turns Four and Five, and befitting the climax to a starring drive from 19th on the grid, and 14th at the restart following a red flag at half distance.
Seventh place for Daniel Ricciardo, not quite able to pass the fading Russell on the last lap, was a drop from his remarkable fourth place on the grid but still a strong result for the Alpha Tauri driver in only his second race since returning from an absence caused by a broken hand.
Verstappen had said after qualifying that his confidence for the race was “good”, despite lining up third on the grid behind Leclerc and Sainz.
And he was true to his word as he blasted off the line, straight away past the tardy Sainz and soon alongside Leclerc and in a strong position on the inside as they reached the braking zone.
They headed three-wide into the first corner, with Sergio Perez moving up on the outside to put Leclerc in a Red Bull sandwich, only for the Mexican to wreck his home race and the hopes of his fervent fans by turning into Leclerc and putting himself out of the race.
Perez made it around to the pits to retire with a hole in the side of his car, but Leclerc, although he had a damaged front wing, was able to continue in second place, behind Verstappen and ahead of Sainz.
The gaps between the top three progressively opened through the first stint, Verstappen was quicker than Leclerc as Leclerc was compared to Sainz, despite his damaged car.
Meanwhile, Hamilton began to hunt down Sainz.
First, the seven-time champion passed Ricciardo on lap 11, and then he closed in on Sainz, tracking right behind him until the Mercedes dived in for a pit stop on lap 24.