Sir Lewis Hamilton also put in an epic performance.
The Mexico City Grand Prix was the same as last year, except for Sir Lewis Hamilton squeezing in between the two Red Bull drivers. Last year, Red Bull scored a one-two, and this year it scored first and third.
We know the fans voted Daniel Ricciardo as the driver of the day, but we respectfully disagree. Mercedes has struggled with its car all season, and it was glorious to watch Hamilton drive this year's terrible car past Sergio Perez, George Russel, Carlos Sainz, and Charles Leclerc. Yesterday was proof that Hamilton still has it, despite what rabid Red Bull fanboys want to believe. Five more years of Lewis? Yes, please.
Max Verstappen was once again a dominant force, finishing 15 seconds before Sir Hamilton's Mercedes. There's a lot to address on the political side (unfortunately), as the race didn't provide that much entertainment.
Let's just get this part over and done with already. Red Bull was found guilty of breaching the cost cap and was fined accordingly. Max Verstappen did not lose his two championships, nor did he deserve to get stripped of them. As we pointed out last week, the drivers of various teams caught in scandals were also left alone.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull also announced that they would no longer conduct interviews with Sky Sports because of a controversial statement Ted Kravitz made at the recent US Grand Prix. According to Verstappen, social media and the like is highly toxic at the moment, and we fully agree. But Ted Kravitz is a reporter and is entitled to an opinion. Not to mention Sky Sports' massive audience.
It's a stupid, childish move. Do the right thing, Red Bull. Banning interviews with the media is a slippery slope, even if you don't always like what we have to say.
Christian Horner asking for an apology from the other teams is also ridiculous. Yes, the overspending was not as bad as Toto Wolf and Zak Brown made it out to be, but nine out of ten teams made it under the budget. You spent more than allowed. The punishment has been doled out, so let's move on.
Red Bull is also sulking about lost wind tunnel time. The higher you finish in the championship, the less time you get. And now Red Bull is losing an additional 10%. Will it make a difference next year? Not, really.
Mercedes dominated for seven straight years with the least wind tunnel time. The Merc team is proof that the concept of giving the slower cars more development time with the wind tunnel does not work.
Also, the Mexican crowd booed Lewis Hamilton. Thankfully, Checo was standing right behind him, showing a finger to the public and telling them to stop it. At least there was that one highlight in a season again being ruined by controversy.
Max Verstappen is the 2022 World Champion, and last weekend he matched the shared record of the most wins per season held by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher. But it's not relevant yet.
As Verstappen pointed out last week, those seasons consisted of fewer races, so we have to wait until the end of the season to calculate Verstappen's win rate. Schumacher has a win rate of 72.22%, while Vettel is on 69.42%. These figures were calculated taking the number of races in the respective seasons into account.
At the moment, Verstappen is on 14 races out of 20, which is a 70% win rate. That means he's surpassed Vettel so far, but there are two races left. If he wins both those races, his win rate will officially be 72.72%, marginally beating the great Schumacher.
The more impressive record, which we can compare to more modern results, is the record for the most points scored in a season. It belonged to Lewis Hamilton, also racing in the current hybrid era. In 2019, he scored 413 points over an entire season. There were 21 rounds that season, so Verstappen can rightfully claim this record. After the Mexican Grand Prix, which was the 20th race this season, he's on 416 points. If we want to be fair, the points from the next race in Brazil will also count.
There's just one thing left to wrap up: getting Checo the silver medal. Only one person can get in his way. Sergio Perez is on 280 points, and Charles Leclerc is on 275.
George Russell started off strong but dropped off during the second half of the season. Well, that's not strictly true. Perhaps Russell didn't drop off. Hamilton finally got settled in his car and started collecting points.
Earlier this season, Hamilton was nowhere near the top, but he might have a shot at fourth place. The podium is already neatly wrapped up, so fourth is the highest place the best of the rest can hope for. Russell is currently fourth with 231 points, but Hamilton is just behind with 216 points. Two good races like the one we saw in Mexico and Hamilton might have the young Brit beat.
It's also interesting to note how close the second place for the constructors' title is. Ferrari is in second with 487 points, while Mercedes is on 447. The Merc may not be fast, but at least it's consistent and reliable. It's the 1980s E-Class of the F1 grid.
Alonso retired from the Mexico City Grand Prix due to engine failure, which finally gave McLaren the break it needed to catch up a bit. And Daniel Ricciardo finally came to the party, providing some much-needed relief to Lando Norris who has been carrying his team this entire season. For the record, Lando is far ahead in the midfield. He's the only midfield driver in triple digits, which is a massive accomplishment.
Despite Norris and Ricciardo scoring points, Alpine remains in the lead after Alonso got his penalty from last week overturned. The gap is down to just seven points, however. Alpine Renault has 153 points, and McLaren has 146 points. Now Danny Ric needs to perform so this battle can stop being so one-sided.
Only two races remain, and Max Verstappen has his name written all over them. Brazil and Abu Dhabi are both fast races, and once Max gets the lead, he tends to stay there.
We'll be biased and say we were hoping for a Hamilton victory at some point. This would be his first season without scoring at least one win, and that's sad. Anyone who thinks he lost his talent is simply woefully ignorant. Beating Checo, Sainz, and Leclerc in a slower car takes great skill.
We can't wait for the season to end, so we can sit back and crunch the numbers. Just a bit more accurately than Red Bull.