2015 Mexican Grand Prix Race Review

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On Saturday, we saw Nico Rosberg taking Pole Position for the Mexican Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

The start of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The start of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The Mexico Grand Prix is underway! Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both get good starts and Rosberg leads into the first corner. Daniil Kvyat also gets a good start as there is contact between Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. As we head into the next few corners, it appears that Vettel has a puncture and is quickly starting to lose places.

At the end of the first lap, the McLaren-Honda state via team radio to Fernando Alonso to retire the car and officially retires from the race after a disappointing weekend once again as Vettel pits for new tyres but was held up by Alonso retiring his McLaren-Honda.

Nico Rosberg leading the early stages of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg leading the early stages of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 2 sees Rosberg leading Hamilton by 0.6 seconds. There is a battle between Verstappen and Massa for sixth and Bottas and Ricciardo for fourth place that is grabbing attention at this early stage of the race. It was announced on Lap 5 that the stewards are investigating the incident between Ricciardo and Vettel on Lap 1 for causing a collusion. Two laps later, the stewards announced that no further action would be taken against either driver.

By Lap 7, Marcus Ericsson finds himself under pressure from Kimi Raikkonen who is then able to pass the Swede through the Stadium section of the track for thirteenth place. At the end of Lap 9, Bottas pits for new tyres and most of us were watching his progress with interest; especially as the Finnish driver will want to try and get ahead of the Red Bull drivers as well.

Valtteri Bottas in the early stages of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Valtteri Bottas in the early stages of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Two laps later, Bottas makes a great move on Felipe Nasr for tenth place going into Turn 4 and is pushing on ahead with his strategy for the race. But the battle for sixth between local driver Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz Jr heated up; with Sainz Jr staying with the Mexican driver very well.

Lap 16 sees Rosberg still leading the race ahead of Hamilton by 2 seconds. There is a battle between Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz Jr for eleventh place; with Vettel lining up a move on Button shortly and had to wait a complete lap to pass Button on the home straight.

Shortly after passing Button for track position, Vettel as he exits the Esses has a full 360 spin in his Ferrari after dropping the car on the way into the corner; which could be a sign that Vettel has a problem with his car. The next lap sees Sainz Jr passing Button for eleventh place and is able after Perez makes his pitstop to leapfrog him on the track.

On Lap 22, Bottas is gaining on Raikkonen for sixth place and tries to make a move on Turn 1 but cannot do so. But into Turn 4, Bottas tries again and both drivers make contact; with Raikkonen coming off better worse and officially retires from the race. The stewards then announce that they are investigating both drivers for the incident.

Lewis Hamilton gains the lead of the Mexican GP on Lap . All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton gains the lead of the Mexican GP on Lap 26 . All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At the end of Lap 26, Rosberg pits and hands the lead over to Hamilton. The stewards then announce that there will be no further action against Raikkonen and Bottas regarding their incident. At the end of Lap 28, Hamilton pits and Rosberg regains the lead of the Mexican GP. By Lap 31, Rosberg is leading Hamilton by 3 seconds.

Sergio Perez in the early stages of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Sergio Perez catching Carlos Sainz Jr in the first hald of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 34 sees Perez gaining once again on Sainz Jr. Perez tries to make a move on the Toro Rosso rookie at Turn 4, Sainz Jr goes off the track after locking up, goes over the grass and regains his position on the track which may see him having to slow down and give the place back to Perez which he does at the Stadium section of the track.

Nico Rosberg leading the Mexican GP on Lap 38. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg leading the Mexican GP on Lap 38. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Four laps later sees Rosberg maintaining a 3 second gap to his team mate as Bottas slowly gains on the Red Bull of Kvyat. Further down the grid, Verstappen is being chased for eighth place by local driver Perez who is determined to have a great race in front of his home crowd. At the end of Lap 46, Rosberg pits for new tyres after being told he wouldn’t have to and Hamilton retakes the lead of the Mexican GP. However, Hamilton has been told on team radio that he will also have to pit again for new tyres at the end of the lap which allows Rosberg to retake the lead of the race once again.

Daniel Ricciardo catching Felipe Massa for fifth place on Lap 50 of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Daniel Ricciardo catching Felipe Massa for fifth place on Lap 49 of the Mexican GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 49 sees Ricciardo battling Massa for fifth place; with Ricciardo catching the Williams driver quickly. Two laps later, Ricciardo in a good move into Turn 1 passes Massa for fifth place as Perez passes Verstappen for position as Verstappen made a mistake. The next lap sees Vettel hitting the barriers at the Esses where he previously span his Ferrari in the race and is now officially out of the race after a challenging day.

This is the first race since the 2006 Australian GP that neither Ferrari car have finished a Grand Prix. The Safety car has now been deployed in order to recover from the Ferrari and many drivers such as Hulkenberg and the Williams drivers pit for fresh tyres.

We are back racing on Lap 58 and Rosberg is still leading ahead of his team mate as Bottas passes Kvyat for position into Turn 1. The next lap sees Nasr pulling off the track after suffering with his brakes on his Sauber and officially retires from the race.

In the closing laps of the Mexican GP, Bottas, Kvyat and Ricciardo are battling for third place in the race as Verstappen, Grosjean and Maldonado enter a battle for ninth place. Meanwhile, Hamilton is making his move on trying to get the lead from Rosberg and is 1.2 seconds behind him.

Nico Rosberg wins the Mexican GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Valtteri Bottas in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg wins the Mexican GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Valtteri Bottas in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Rosberg leads Hamilton on the final lap of the race by 1.6 seconds and wins the Mexican Grand Prix which is his fourth win of the season and has scored his first win since the Austrian Grand Prix. This then sees him tie on career wins with Alan Jones which is a fantastic achievement.

Hamilton is a credible second 1.9 seconds behind Rosberg, Bottas finished in a brilliant third place 14.5 seconds seconds behind Rosberg, Kvyat was a credible fourth 16.5 seconds behind Rosberg and Ricciardo finished fifth 19.6 seconds behind Rosberg.

Massa was a credible sixth 21.4 seconds behind Rosberg, Hulkenberg finishes seventh 25.8 seconds behind Rosberg, Perez finished in eighth place 34.3 seconds behind Rosberg, Verstappen finished in ninth place 35.2 seconds behind Rosberg and Grosjean picked up the final point in tenth 37.9 seconds behind Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton wins the Drivers’ Championship with 345 points, Rosberg is second with 272 points, Vettel is third with 251 points, Bottas is fourth with 126 points, Raikkonen is fifth with 123 points, Massa is sixth with 117 points, Kvyat is seventh with 88 points, Ricciardo is eighth with 84 points, Perez is ninth with 68 points and Verstappen is tenth with 47 points.

Mercedes have won the Constructors Championship with 617 points, Ferrari is second with 374 points, Williams are third with 243 points, Red Bull are fourth with 172 points, Force India are fifth with 112 points, Lotus are sixth with 71 points, Toro Rosso are seventh with 65 points, Sauber are eighth with 36 points and McLaren-Honda are ninth with 27 points.

Conclusion

I feel that McLaren have had an terrible weekend. With both drivers struggling all weekend long, it is still clear that the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again as quickly as possible. And this has been brought to light this weekend despite Honda saying that the car as improved but this hasn’t translated on the track.

The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Bottas getting third place in the race. I do feel that Valtteri drove a superb race to gain third  today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant job today and has shown that despite not having the outright pace to challenge their rivals; he drove a great race to claim this result today and showed why he is a talented driver of the future.

Verstappen did a brilliant job to get ninth place and had a great battle to get there after battling with Perez for most of the race. These points for himself and Toro Rosso are vital and only shows just how much promise he has as a driver if he has the car underneath him to do so and that he is a talented and promising racing driver.

Ricciardo battled his way through today to get fifth place today. He battled his way through the field and created some great overtaking moves to get there. Ricciardo may not have had the weekend that he wanted with Red Bull this weekend, but he did the best that he could do and picked up some more points for the team who have extended their lead over their rivals in the Constructors today.

Massa had a bit of a lonely race to finish sixth. But he managed to score some much needed points for himself and his team and even though he couldn’t beat his team mate, he still managed to get a result from the weekend.

Grosjean did a great job to get the final point today after battling with his team mate today. But in a race where many did not expect Lotus not to finish, he has managed to gain some points for the team in a challenging time and will want to carry this momentum through to the next race in Brazil.

Kvyat did a great job to get fourth place today and deserves a mention. He drove a solid race today and had to battle his way through but he did a great job to secure some much needed points for his team after a good performance this weekend and it is clear that the car was working well for them as a result.

Hulkenberg did a credible job to finish seventh today especially after struggling to beat his team mate during the course of the weekend. Hulkenberg this weekend has managed to struggle to extract pace and performance from the car this weekend; and I feel that the results that Nico achieved today will only spur him on to get better before the season is out.

Perez drove a solid race to get eighth place on Sunday. Even though he didn’t have the pace to challenge his team mate but we have seen him showing why he went to Force India in the first place and that he is without a doubt a potential podium finisher in the remaining races of the season if he can get everything together in a weekend and brings home good points for himself and his team.

Hamilton deserves a mention. He drove a solid race to second place. He may not have won the battle with his team mate; and didn’t have a chance to try and get past but he did a great job to secure a podium today. What a fantastic job from him and this will only give him a slight satisfaction after winning the title last weekend in Austin

All that is left to say about this race is that Rosberg deserved to win at Mexico and he needed to in order to show that he cannot be discounted as a driver.  His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with him and have shown that they are just the best team on the grid at the moment. All credit to Rosberg for doing a superb job this weekend and winning his fourth race of the season.

Will Brazil in two weeks time be yet another race Mercedes will win? Or can their rivals catch up to them? And with the championship now decided, can Hamilton win more races? Only time will tell.

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