2015 Mexican Grand Prix is a lot like old times
Nico Rosberg was another point of consistency, scoring pole position for the fourth race in a row to beat his now-World-Champion teammate Hamilton by almost two-tenths of a second. The last time Rosberg turned pole position into a victory? The Spanish Grand Prix back in May. Vettel locked up third for Ferrari, followed by the Infiniti Red Bull Racing duo of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo. Williams went two-up as well, Valtteri Bottas in sixth ahead of Felipe Massa in seventh. Max Verstappen turned in a great late lap to reserve eighth place, Sergio Perez did all he could in front of his home crowd to get ninth, teammate Nico Hülkenberg the caboose in the top ten.
In that 1992 race the first three on the grid finished the race in the same order after Mansell dominated, and it was almost the same in 2015. If Rosberg had driven the whole season like he drove today the Driver's World Championship would still be up for grabs. He got a great start and held his line through the first corner, coming out ahead of Hamilton through the initial kinks, pulling away as soon as he got to the straight. Hamilton was never more than a few seconds behind, but every time the Brit inched closer the German found a few more tenths to keep his distance.
The field got bunched up when the Safety Car came out on Lap 53 after Vettel spun and got stuck in the barriers, but Rosberg handled the restart perfectly. Both drivers made small mistakes in the last few laps while driving on the edge, but Rosberg earned a strong victory, crossing the line two seconds ahead of his teammate.
Valtteri Bottas will be stoked to get his second podium finish of the season after Canada, finishing third. After pitting on Lap 9 of the 71-lap race he'd been running in the back half of the top ten. In seventh on Lap 23, he and Kimi Räikkönen decided to ring one another's bells again through the right-hand Turn 5, in the reverse of what happened two races ago at Sochi. This time Bottas lunged down the inside and Räikkönen turned in on him, making wheel-to-wheel contact that threw Räikkönen's car up on two wheels. When Räikkönen came down his right-rear suspension broke and he was out of the race. With Vettel's retirement later, it's the first time no Ferrari has been classified at the end of a race since the 2006 Australian Grand Prix.
Bottas was fine, and after runners in front took pit stops he found himself in fourth, behind Daniil Kvyat. When the field bunched up during the Safety Car, Bottas was right up on Kvyat at the restart and it was Mercedes power versus Renault power down the front straight, with a predictable result. Kvyat held on for fourth ahead of teammate Ricciardo, the thin air at Mexico City's 7,500-foot altitude and twisty Sector 2 helping Red Bull negate the worst of its power unit weaknesses. Felipe Massa brought the second Williams home in sixth.
Nico Hülkenberg finished seventh, one place ahead of teammate, hometown boy, and crowd favorite Sergio Perez. The Mexican did an outstanding job to get eighth, after only pitting once on Lap 19. His ability to save a set of tires, some solid driving, and a Mercedes power unit were the deciding factors in his being able to keep the Renault-powered Max Verstappen behind him just under a second away. Romain Grosjean took the final points-winning spot in tenth, holding off teammate Pastor Maldonado for the last few laps.
Rosberg's first win since the Austrian Grand Prix in June puts him in second in the Driver's Championship standings with 272 points and gives him a 21-point cushion over Vettel. Getting 15 points thanks to Bottas' Revenge, the Williams driver goes ahead of fellow Finn Räikkönen into third place, 126 points to 123.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas and Ferrari are the decided one-two in the Constructor's World Championship, positions after that remain up for grabs. Williams got closer to clinching third place by scoring one point more than Red Bull in fourth, and frankly Red Bull would have to do the impossible and score 71 points while Williams scored none to turn that around.
The North American tour finished, we get a two-week break while the F1 show moves to its next date in Brazil on November 25. We'll see you then.
- Great used cars for less than $10,000
- Owners say these cars aren't very good deals
- New Car Buying Guides
- Cheapest new automobiles in America
- Fastest-depreciating cars in the United States
- Find and compare 2017 Models