The Sun (Malaysia)
Rosberg wins in Mexico
> Hamilton comes in second as Vettel crashes out
NICO ROSBERG put his Texas blues behind him yesterday to win the first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years and show triple world champion Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton how it feels to finish second.
The German’s fourth victory of the year, and 12th of his career, ended Hamilton’s threerace winning streak a week after the Briton secured his third title.
On a sunny afternoon, with the 135,000-strong crowd creating a party atmosphere, the Briton was left feeling sore after questioning a team instruction to pit for fresh tyres after Rosberg had already done so.
The German, whose late mistake in Austin handed Hamilton the victory that clinched the title, led cleanly away from pole position and finished 1.9 seconds ahead after also setting the fastest lap. It was Mercedes’ 10th one-two in 17 races.
“This is really the best podium of the year, what a place to win” said Rosberg, addressing a cheering mass of more than 100,000 from a podium overlooking the stadium complex.
“Amazing day, great race,” added the German.
With both championships already decided, Mercedes having retained their constructors’ crown in Russia last month, the race win was all that mattered for the dominant duo at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.
Rosberg’s win lifted him to second in the championship, 21 points clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who failed to score after a crash that brought out the safety car on the 52nd of the 71 laps. The German was unhurt.
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas finished third for Williams.
“Nico drove a fantastic race. No mistakes, no gust of wind,” Hamilton said, a dig at Rosberg’s US error that the German blamed on windy conditions.
Hamilton had clearly opposed the team’s decision to bring him in for an unscheduled second pitstop, with sceptics inevitably speculating about team orders, and ignored it initially.
“Can I ask why?,” he enquired. “My tyres feel good.”
He obeyed when it was made clear that it was for safety reasons due after an inspection of the tyres used in the first stint showed excessive wear.
Neither Ferrari finished the race, ending a run of 20 in the points, with Vettel’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen breaking his suspension after colliding with Bottas for the second time in three races.
Bottas, who had been trying to pass on the inside when they tangled wheels, raced on to take a revenge podium. – Reuters