Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton wins in Mexico but title champagne remains on ice | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 27.10.2019
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Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton wins in Mexico but title champagne remains on ice

Lewis Hamilton was top of the podium in Mexico, recovering from a bad start to finish ahead of Sebastian Vettel. But the Briton's quest for a sixth driver's championship must wait until Austin after Bottas came third.

Lewis Hamilton overcame Ferrari's front-row to secure victory in the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday but will have to wait until next weekend's race in Texas to clinch his sixth Formula One world championship.

The Briton's 10th win of the season, and 83rd of his career, stretched Hamilton's overall lead to 74 points with 78 remaining to be won from the last three races — making the title a formality.

Hamilton had needed to beat Mercedes teammate Bottas by 14 points at the high altitude Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to wrap up the championship in Mexico but managed to do so only by 10 after the Finn finished third.

Next weekend's US Grand Prix takes place at Austin's Circuit of the Americas, where Hamilton has won five times since 2012.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was a close second with team mate Charles Leclerc, who started from pole position and set the fastest lap, fourth.

As it happened:


Lap 70/71

A new fastest lap for Hamilton, who is defying the hard tyres and is enjoying himself out there.

Lap 68/71

"We are faster than him," Ferrari tells Vettel, but in reality time seems to be up for them today. They have failed to stop Hamilton again, although the title will probably have to wait another week for the Mercedes driver.

Lap 65/71

Hamilton's hard tyres are not ideal for the finale but he's hanging in there, mainly because Ferrari's challenge is faltering. We have max power available if you need it," Mercedes tells Hamilton.

Lap 63/71

Just as Lerclerc is looking threatening, he goes deep at corner four and loses time — 1.6 seconds to be exact.

Lap 60/71

Hamilton's lead is now up to almost three seconds and he looks like getting the win here. Can Lerclerc do him a favor? Time is running out.

Lap 58/71

New fastest lap for Lerclerc, who is absolutely flying out there. He's only 9.1 seconds off the lead — just think what could have been had he not lost four seconds at his second stop.

Lap 54/71

Vettel has now dropped back from Hamilton, who has widened the gap over the German to 2.8 seconds.

Lap 52/71

Lerclerc is now only 10.5 seconds off the lead with less than 20 laps to go. Bottas should be afraid, very afraid.

Lap 47/71 

Bottas is closing the gap on Vettel, meanwhile Vettel is closing on Hamilton whose leads has been shaved down to 2.5s. 

Lap 46/71 

Verstappen has been burning through the midfield and after going past home hero Perez is up in 7th.

Lap 44/71

Hamilton takes the lead as Leclerc goes into the pits to switch onto the hards. There's a slight mix-up with the back left tire which is costly.

Lap 42/71

Vettel on the hard tires has just set a new fastest lap with a time of 1m19.817s and is quickly closing on Albon. Further forward, there's a near 9s gap between Leclerc and Hamilton. 

Lap 40/71

This race really could go any which way as things stand given the variety of statetgies being deployed by teams. Leclerc leads on a two-stop, while Hamilton is poised to take the lead on a one-stop.

Lap 38/71

A big moment in the race as Vettel pits to move onto the hards and comes out in fourth behind Albon, but crucially ahead of Bottas who had also dipped into the pits. Leclerc now elads with Hamilton in second. Time the for the Brit to go on the attack. 

Lap 36/71

Vettel is starting to slow down at the front and he'll be starting to think about when the ideal time is to make his only pit of the race. Right now he's caught up in the battle between Gasly and Sainz in midfield

Lap 34/71

Further back Verstappen, the man who would have started in pole position were it not for a silly penalty, has fought his way back into the top 10. He's got so much pace compared to the rest of the cars in the middle of the pack and he's looking to take advantage. 

Snapshot from Mexico City

Lap 32/71

The top five are all running about six seconds apart. Hamilton is eagerly anticipating Vettel going into the pits and the message over the radio is; "Lewis you can do this". 

Lap 30/71

Hamilton isn't convinced by Mercedes' strategy with Vettel out in front and still yet to pit. "It feels liks we stopped way too early."

Lap 29/71

Vettel has just been warned to watch his tires on turns 6 and 12 over the team radio. He's got a 6s lead in first.

Lap 27/71

Hamilton is 7s behind Leclerc and being urged to "push as much as you can" ony the team radio. The Brit has gotten stuck in a bit of traffic behind Kubica and it's cost him time.

Snapshot from Mexico City

Lap 25/71 

  1. Vettel
  2. Bottas
  3. Leclerc
  4. Hamilton
  5. Albon
  6. Ricciardo
  7. Stroll
  8. Perez
  9. Kvyat
  10. Sainz

Lap 24/71 

Mercedes have noted that Leclerc is on a two-stop strategy and pulled Hamilton into the pits with his tires getting hot. 

Lap 23/71

Perez has pitted and, after initially rejoining behind Kvyat, he's since gone past him to move into eighth.

Lap 21/71

Vettel has an almost 2 second lead over Hamilton with Bottas 7 seconds further back, but Leclerc has just set a new fastest lap. Over the radio: "This is an important stint, we need to push." 

Lap 19/71

  1. Vettel
  2. Hamilton
  3. Bottas
  4. Leclerc
  5. Albon
  6. Perez
  7. Ricciardo
  8. Hulkenberg
  9. Stroll
  10. Giovinazzi

Lap 17/71

The good news for the trailing pack is that Vettel hasn't managed to pull away at the front, but the German driver has just said over the radio that "everything is peachy".

Lap 16/71

Leclerc is the next into the pit giving Hamilton a few laps to attack Vettel in first. The 21-year-old puts on mediums. 

Snapshot from Mexico City

Lap 15/71 

Albon pits meaning Hamilton and Bottas are now behind Leclerc and Vettel. The Red Bull driver coms out of the pit behind Sainz which is good news for the Mercedes pair.

Lap 13/71 

Lando Norris' race is as good as over after the McLaren made an unsafe pitlane release. The crew weren't done tending to his front left tire which was wobbly and forced him to pull over.

Lap 12/71

Right now Albon is sandwiched between the two Ferrari's and the two Mercedes' drivers, meaning that as things stand Hamilton will not take the driver's championship today. None of the front five have pitted yet.

Lap 10/71 

Checking in with home crowd hero Perez, as he's moved up to eight and there's a massive roar from the crowd as he gets past Kvyat. 

Lap 9/71

There's word coming through that the stewards aren't going to take any action on the incident involving Vettel "squeezing" Hamilton off the start.

Lap 7/71

At the front, Leclerc has a 1.5s lead over teammate Vettel, but they need not worry about a challenge from Hamilton with Albon providing a buffer. Elsewhere, Bottas has gone past Norris and now has Sainz in his sights. 

Lap 5/71

Max Verstappen has a puncture and is going to be forced to pit. It looks to have happened in a coming together with Bottas. "You have a right rear puncture, Max" is the message over the radio. 

Lap 4/71

Hamilton is back up into fourth after taking Sainz on Turn 1. Now his attention turns to Albon.

Lap 2/71

A heart in mouth moment for the man chasing his sixth title, but Hamilton has held his nerve well against the precocious youngster. There are also suggestions that Vettel was overly aggresive going into Turn 1. 

Lap 1/71

The safety car is out. Hamilton has dropped to fifth after twice getting taped by Verstappen into Turn 2, who is down to P8. A classic racing incident that's jostled up the pack.

Lights out in Mexico!

The Mexican Grand Prix starts off with a bang as Verstappen and Hamilton tangle on turn 2 with both going onto the grass as a result. Both drops places after returning to the track.

Tactics board

It's a hot and humid day in Mexico City so the question is whether the Medium, Hard, Medium tire strategy will fare better than the Medium, Hard, Soft.

Glock: "Turn 1 will be crucial"

Former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock is backing Vettel to take the win with Leclerc finishing in second. "His experience and composure will serve him well on a fast and warm track. Turn 1 will be crucial and it could give Vettel and early edge." 

All eyes on Perez

He may be starting back in P11, but Sergio Perez is going to have to home crowd behind him on every turn in his home Grand Prix. 

Vettel ready for "a match"

Sebastian Vettel was on course to take pole position with the fastest lap when Bottas crashed in qualfying and the yellow flag stopped him in his tracks. "We were very close - maybe closer than the stopwatch was telling," said the Ferrari driver. "I think [qualifying] was a match and I’m quite confident today is going to be a match as well." 

Ramping up the atmosphere in Mexico City

The party has started in Mexico!

Leclerc on pole

The 21-year-old has had a pehnomenal first year with Ferrari and in Mexico takes pole position for the seventh time, three more than any other driver. 

Pre-race training done differently

Well this is certainly one way to warm up the hands that may or may not be lifting a trophy later.

Hamilton "trying to be perfect"

Were Hamilton to wrap up his sixth title win tonight, it would be the second season in a row he's done it in Mexico.

"I just think about what I've got to do. I can't control what happens with Valtteri. All I can do is try to control my future - how I progress through the race and do my due diligence [before it]. I'm just thinking of trying to be perfect and ultimately how I think is if I do my job right I should get to where I'm trying to go. And whether it's this weekend or in the next four races, it doesn't really matter as long as it gets done." 

Vertsappen and Hamilton have previous in Mexico

Can we expect similar fireworks when the lights go green tonight?

Max Verstappen demoted

Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the fastest lap in qualifying, but was demoted to position four on the grid after receiving a penalty for ignoring warning flags having failed to slow down after a crash by Bottas. As a result, the Dutchman is behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. 

Hamilton's title tilt

Hello and welcome one and all to DW's live coverage of the Mexico Grand Prix which could see Lewis Hamilton claim his sixth driver's championships, but things will have to go his way. The Brit needs to better teammate Valtteri Bottas' result by 14 points in Mexico City, which based on qualifying could be a very tricky circuit.