Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Verstappen Sets the Standard, Again

Max Verstappen won the Mexico City Grand Prix for the fifth time in his young, successful career

Dutchman Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing won the Mexico City Grand Prix(GP) on Sunday, Oct. 29, and set a record-breaking 16th win in a single season. This mark surpasses the 15-win record set by him in the 2022 season. British driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One raced his way into a second-place finish and the fastest lap of the race, which he set in the final lap of the race. Hamilton has yet to win a race despite having three second-place finishes and a pole-position start this season. Scuderia Ferrari’s Monégasque driver Charles Leclerc lost a couple of positions but still found his way to the podium, finishing third.

Red Bull’s Duality

Despite one of their drivers winning the GP the race weekend could’ve been better for Red Bull. “A race of contrasting fortunes. Another amazing race by Max today, total and utter dominance, but for Checo, an absolutely gutting home race. He had a rocket ship launch of a start and had so much momentum going into that first corner. You can’t blame him for going for it to try and take the lead at his home race. but ultimately, three does not go into one and it was a crushing blow to see him out,” said Red Bull CEO and Team Principal Christian Horner.

Mexican Sergio Perez(Checo) was the undisputed favorite driver of the Mexico crowd this weekend. Checo started in P5. Fueled by a quick start on his part found him in the front row going into turn one. The decision to go three cars wide into the first turn would prove terminal for the Mexican. Checo would turn into the sandwiched Leclerc and the right-rear Red Bull tire would drive over the Ferrari’s front-left tire. Checo took flight and caused terminal damage to the car. “I went for [the lead] and to be honest I wasn’t expecting Charles to brake as late as he did and simply, there was no room for three cars. I wanted this victory badly and I knew it was risky but if it had worked, I would have ended up in the lead,” said Checo.

The Red Reshuffle

The lap 33 crash of Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen affected the GP. The MoneyGram Haas F1 Team driver had his rear-left tire come out from under the car between turns eight and nine. His car collided with the barrier at a high speed. It would damage the wall that separates the track and the outside. Stewards awarded a yellow flag. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile(FIA) would later upgrade the yellow flag to a red flag to clear the car and debris from the track. Many teams changed strategies after.

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The Mexican track is known to degrade tires quickly and many teams had already used their allocated medium and hard tires. With over 30 laps left, many drivers would be forced to use older tires or tires that may not last the whole race. Some drivers would benefit from the restart. Japanese Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda would gain two positions after the restart. Others though had pitted either a lap or two before the flag like Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Ferrari. McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris had strong momentum prior to the red flag. The British driver found a way to finish fifth despite starting 17th.

The F1 World Driver’s Championship didn’t change aside from Sainz being tied for fourth place with Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team. All standings in the F1 World Constructors Championship remain the same. F1 action returns on Sunday, Nov. 5 for the Rolex São Paulo Grand Prix 2023.

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Luis Martinez
Luis Martinez, Staff
Luis Martines formerly EIC during Spring '23.

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