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Mexican Grand Prix Race Review: Verstappen dominates once again

While there were some flashpoints with a safety car and red flag in the opening stages, there was nothing to deter Red Bull's Max Verstappen from dominating to win the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday.

It was win number 16 for the Dutchman, which saw him surpass his own previous record for race wins in a single F1 campaign.

Here's the tale of the tape and how Verstappen claimed yet another win to move 251 points clear at the top of the Drivers' Championship.

Drama early doors

There was plenty of intrigue at the start of the race with the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr taking up the front row after impressing in qualifying.

Reigning world champion Verstappen was tucked in just behind in third and the Red Bull ace made an electric start to overtake both Ferraris by turn one.

Instead of going for the slipstream, Verstappen found the gap between the two Ferraris and squeezed his way through to take an audacious lead at turn one.

While Verstappen was able to find the space, the same can't be said for his team-mate and home favourite Sergio Perez, who made contact with Leclerc before going flying off the track.

It was no fault of Leclerc and Perez's error meant his home grand prix was really over before it began at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Perez claimed after the race he thought there was a gap to be had and had no regrets he tried to go for the victory for the home fans.

"The gap was there," Perez said. "I tried to go for the win at my home grand prix. What else could I have done? I went for the gap. I risked it too much, but I wanted the win today.

"I just wanted to give it all, went for it totally. To end the race on the first lap at your home grand prix is definitely really sad. On the other hand, I'm extremely proud of myself because I gave it my all."

Drama on lap 33

A red flag on lap 33 after a heavy crash for Kevin Magnussen saw the race restarted and it might have given some hope to Verstappen's rivals they could rein him in.

Magnussen had an issue with his back-left wheel and went careering into the barriers but thankfully the Dane was able to walk away from the crash without issue.

The race was restarted and any brief hope of a poor start from Verstappen quickly vanished as he powered away from the rest of the competition, before claiming an impressive 16th chequered flag of the season and a fifth win at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton impresses to claim second

In a good contest between himself and Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton will have been happy to have finished best of the rest in Mexico City.

The seven-time world champion managed to close the gap on Perez in the Drivers' Championship, with 20 points between the two drivers with just three races of the season remaining in Sao Paulo, Las Vegas and Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

Leclerc was unfortunate that the damage his car sustained in the crash with Perez hindered his performance on Sunday.

Managing to come through that first-turn incident and still finish in third place on the podium was a credit to the Monegasques.

Norris pleased with weekend

With Ferrari's Sainz Jr finishing fourth place behind Leclerc, it was England's Lando Norris who claimed fifth place for McLaren.

It was another strong performance from the 23-year-old, who finds himself in sixth place in the Drivers' Championship and narrowing the gap on two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in fifth spot.

Speaking after the race, Norris was pleased with his performance and admitted he enjoyed himself out on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

"I had to avoid some not-very-aware drivers," he said, "managed to avoid causing a very big crash and just stayed out of trouble.

"Sacrificed four, five positions at the beginning, but I got comfortable and got in a good rhythm, got the tyres into a good window and could push and had one of the best stints I've had almost ever and got from 14th to fifth. Pace was amazing, very enjoyable, good overtakes, hard racing and good fun."

For Norris and the rest of the drivers, the focus next switches to South America and the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Verstappen is 1/4 to claim the chequered flag at Interlagos, with Hamilton at 8/1 to earn what would be his first win of the season.

Norris is the third-favourite to win the Brazilian Grand Prix at 14/1, with Perez available at 16/1.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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