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Hamilton wins Mexican GP but Bottas delays 6th F1 title celebrations with a podium

Hamilton wins Mexican GP but Bottas delays 6th F1 title celebrations with a podium

27-10-2019 20:50 Last update: 21:47
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Lewis Hamilton has won the Mexican Grand Prix, but the wait for his sixth Formula 1 world championship title is on hold for at least another week as Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished on the podium to delay the celebrations. Sebastian Vettel, who led for the majority of the race, finished second as his younger hard tyres couldn't help him catch Hamilton. 

Max Verstappen's frustrations from his grid penalty only grew bigger as a tangle with Hamilton on the opening corner of the race pushed him onto the grass. When the Dutchman returned to the track, he touched with Bottas which caused a puncture for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver. 

Charles Leclerc had a quiet race and finished fourth. Alex Albon rounded out the top five as Verstappen's Red Bull was strong enough to climb through the field to finish sixth. 

Home favourite Sergio Perez had a positive race as he fought off a charging Daniel Ricciardo in the final 10 laps to pick up the best of the rest position. 

The gap between Hamilton and Bottas in the F1 world championship is now 74 points with three races remaining. 

Chaotic start 

On the long run down to the first corner, Hamilton and Vettel almost came together which pushed the Brit backwards. He then tangled with Verstappen, a tangle which took them both across the grass. 

Hamilton returned to the track ahead as the Dutchman's troubles were about to get worse. He overtook Bottas on lap five but clipped the Mercedes car on his way through which caused a puncture. The Red Bull mechanics put on the hard tyres pushing Verstappen until the end. 

Elsewhere, the two Ferrari cars touched each other but it wasn't a strong enough touch to give the Italian team any grief as they drove into the distance. Romain Grosjean slipped to the back of the grid after he was squeezed out in the opening sequence of corners. 

On lap 14, McLaren added to the drama. Lando Norris was on for a decent points haul until McLaren pitted him for the hard tyres. The front-left tyre wasn't fitted correctly but lucky the 19-year-old stopped before the pit-exit line. McLaren mechanics pushed him back up the pit lane but not without delay. 

Two-stop strategy or a one-stop?

Albon blinked first with the Red Bull Racing team giving him a second set of medium tyres committing him to a two-stopper. Ferrari reacted by pitting Leclerc and opted for the same strategy. 

Hamilton pitted on lap 24 to buck the two-stop race strategy trend. He returned to the track in P4 and immediately took the fastest lap on the hard tyres. The five-time world champion started to doubt the decision whereas Vettel wanted to react. 

Bottas cut the gap down to three seconds between himself and race leader Vettel. Mercedes reacted by pitting Bottas for the hard tyres in an attempt to produce another undercut. Vettel pitted on lap 37 to prevent the undercut. The German returned to the track ahead of Bottas. 

Leclerc was one of the last drivers to pit for the hard tyres, but the Ferrari pit crew had some trouble applying the rear tyres. In contrast, Albon came in at a similar time and recorded a sub-two second pitstop. 

Titanic battle to finish the race? It never happened! 

With the drivers at the front running with old tyres and the drivers behind running on newer tyres, we were promised a tight battle at the end of the Mexican Grand Prix. The top four were separated by nine seconds with 15 laps remaining. 

Vettel, whose tyres were 14 laps younger than Hamilton's, couldn't catch up with the race leader to supply enough pressure. Hamilton drove on to win the Mexican Grand Prix. 

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