Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen is continuing his historic season in F1, with a record-breaking 14th victory of the year at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher’s season in 2004, and Sebastian Vettel’s in 2013, previously shared the record for most wins in a single season with 13 each.
In Mexico, ‘Super Max’ has gone one better. He started on pole and was near-faultless in the hot conditions. 7-time World Champion and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished in second, with hometown hero Sergio Pérez finishing third.
The win puts Verstappen – who has already won the 2022 Driver’s Championship with two races to go – on 416 championship points.
This total also breaks the record for most points in a single F1 season, previously held by Lewis Hamilton for his victorious 2019 season.
“What an unbelievable season”
The Dutchman rarely missed a beat with the race in Mexico City, only losing his lead briefly during a tire change.
A resurgent Hamilton put up a good fight, setting a blistering pace early on, but Verstappen pulled away in the second half of the race, eventually crossing the line 15 seconds ahead of his long-time rival.
Speaking after the race Verstappen was elated, saying “what an unbelievable season.”
“It’s an incredible atmosphere. We love to come here. It’s been an incredible year so far. We are definitely enjoying it and we will try to go for more.”Max Verstappen
The win cements Red Bull’s place atop the 2022 Constructors Championship, 200 points clear of the next-nearest team, Ferrari.
Their total of 696 points already sits at the fifth-best of all time, with Mercedes currently holding the record of 765 in 2016. Will we see Red Bull break the record for most points in a single season? They’re already on a roll and it’s mathematically possible…
Mercedes’ tyre issues
Strong finishes from both Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell saw them close the gap to only 40 points behind Ferrari in the constructor’s standings.
That being said, both drivers reflected that Mercedes’ tire strategy was not as strong as Red Bull’s. The pair started on medium tyres, with Verstappen starting with softs.
After 29 laps, Hamilton changed to hard tyres which saw Verstappen, then-on mediums, start to extend his lead.
After the race, George Russell commented that driving on the hard tyres was comparable to “driving on ice.”
Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo showed why he still deserves a spot in F1 next year after putting in a mega drive to finish in seventh.
It was one of his best drives this season, with ‘The Honey Badger’ overcoming a ten-second penalty in the race for clipping the car of AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda.
But the penalty was no big deal for Danny Ric – in fact it arguably fired him up – with the Australian finishing more than 10 seconds ahead of eighth-placed Esteban Ocon, on his way to being voted ‘Driver of the Day’.
Meanwhile, hometown hero Pérez was hoping to grab the fifth win of his career in front of his home fans. Starting in fourth, the Mexican driver managed to gain one place, splitting the Mercedes cars of Hamilton and Russell. Still, fans were pretty stoked to see ‘Checo’ on the podium.
With an electric atmosphere in Mexico City, one could only imagine the scenes if he’d topped the podium this year…
The final two races of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship are the São Paulo Grand Prix on the 11-13th of November, and then the season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the 18-20th of November.