Max Ver­stap­pen

Mex­i­can GP (1st)

Autosport (UK) - - F1 SEASON REVIEW | STARRING ROLES -

In these days of tyre and fuel man­age­ment, it’s un­usual for a driver to dis­ap­pear into the dis­tance. Dou­bly so in a race like the Mex­i­can Grand Prix, which was at the ex­treme end of the spec­trum for look­ing after the Pirellis. And yet, some­how, Ver­stap­pen took what was ar­guably the most dom­i­nant vic­tory of the sea­son.

Ini­tially he was told to build up a 3.5-sec­ond lead over Lewis Hamil­ton, but his ad­van­tage went beyond that as it be­came very clear that there was only go­ing to be one win­ner of this race. With Hamil­ton pit­ting at the end of lap 11, Ver­stap­pen was com­fort­able enough to go two laps longer and still have a 2.2s ad­van­tage. The main chal­lenge from here was the team try­ing to slow him down, some­thing that wasn’t easy as Ver­stap­pen’s pace made it im­pos­si­ble for him not to build his lead. Most im­pres­sively, he was able to make a lux­ury pre­cau­tion­ary pit­stop and still have a com­fort­able ad­van­tage over team-mate Daniel Ric­cia­rdo, who started from pole po­si­tion and made a one-stop­per work.

Ver­stap­pen’s tyre man­age­ment has been a strength since his Toro Rosso days, and this was a race in which he com­bined that skill with what speed the race sit­u­a­tion al­lowed him to show. A crush­ing vic­tory.

MAUGER/LAT

Even mind­ing his tyres, Ver­stap­pen couldn’t help but romp away

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