“Max, congratulations, that’s a new record!” : from the end of the race, rather a walk at 2200 meters altitude, Verstappen was congratulated by his boss Christian Horner. “14 wins, it’s incredible!” Savored the unstoppable double champion, who finished 15 seconds ahead.
George Russell (Mercedes), who started 2nd but was overtaken in the first corners by his team-mate Hamilton and by Pérez, finished 4th, ahead of the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who performed poorly this weekend.
6th most prolific pilot in history
Assured of the title from Japan two races ago, Verstappen won his 34th victory there. At 25, he is the 6th most prolific driver in F1 history and has his sights set on Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna and his 41 successes.
Red Bull, titled among the constructors last Sunday in Austin, continues on its own. Unbeatable for nine races now with a last defeat on July 10 in Austria (Leclerc), it behaves better on the track than off, after being sanctioned for having exceeded the 2021 budget ceiling.
The team has won 16 of the 20 races contested, including Pérez’s two. In front of a crowd won over to his cause, Pérez would have liked to add a third.
395,000 spectators since Friday
Carried by the “Checo! Checo!” of his unleashed supporters, especially in the deafening Foro Sol stadium, the Mexican could not do better.
In this weekend of celebrations in Mexico, before the Dia de muertos, the party was therefore almost total for the 395,000 spectators who came to fill the stands since Friday.
In the pantheon of victories in the same season, Verstappen now exceeds the Germans Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013), tied with 13 successes. In the percentage of victories on the other hand, “Schumi” remains in the lead for the moment with 13 victories out of 18 races. It will therefore be necessary to do the accounts at the end of the season to see who “really” holds the record.
Mercedes ahead of Ferrari
Verstappen, whose hunger for victories knows no bounds, still has two chances to shine: Brazil (November 13) and Abu Dhabi (November 20).
In Mexico, as in the United States last week, it was his best enemy, the reigning vice-world champion Hamilton who was the most serious threat.
The Briton has only two races left to save the honor, win a 104th victory and glean another famous record: winning at least once in 16 consecutive years.
Enough to project ourselves towards a new Red Bull – Mercedes match in 2023… and enough to give headaches to the management of Ferrari, which is struggling to keep up the pace even if it clings to 2nd place in the constructors’ ranking.