With his victory in the Mexico City Grand Prix, Max Verstappen establishes a new F1 season record
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With his victory in the Mexico City Grand Prix, Max Verstappen establishes a new F1 season record

Max Verstappen broke the Formula One record for wins in a season with his 14th victory at the Mexico City Grand Prix on Sunday, breaking the mark shared by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.

Schumacher set the record in 2004, Vettel tied it in 2013, and Verstappen was tied with the Germans for one week after winning at the Circuit of the Americas last week. Verstappen swept the North American portion of this year’s F1 schedule, winning in Miami, Montreal, and now Mexico City.

The Dutchman retained his F1 world championship with four races left in the season, clinched the Red Bull constructors championship with three races left in the season, and has two races remaining to completely demolish the wins-in-a-season record.

Red Bull has now won nine races in a row, matching the team record set in 2013. With Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the team has won 16 of 21 F1 races this season, including victories in Monaco and Singapore.

Lewis Hamilton finished second for the second week in a row. He had a chance to win his first race of the season, but Mercedes made the wrong call on a tyre change, allowing Verstappen to take control.

Perez finished third on his home track for the second year in a row, earning deafening applause despite the fact that no Mexican driver has ever won at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Perez has been surrounded by adoring fans since his return this week. It started with a demonstration run in his hometown of Guadalajara before arriving at the circuit, where Perez is greeted by a swarm of fans as soon as he enters the paddock.

Each on-track session, he had to take a detour to get to the Red Bull garage because drivers and teams complained throughout the weekend that the spectators who had purchased paddock access were too aggressive.

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But the fans adore their native driver, and Perez took a lap around the track in the back of a convertible Volkswagen before the race. He frequently placed his hand on his heart to express his gratitude to the 120,000-plus fans.

“It’s been incredible, honestly,” Perez told the crowd after the race in Spanish. “I want to thank you for all of your help this weekend. You are the best fan base in the world. Thank you very much.”

Earlier this year, the three-day weekend sold out in two minutes, and the three-day attendance of 395,902 broke the previous year’s record of 371,779. F1 also announced ahead of the race that it had extended its contract with the race, which is frequently voted the most popular by fans, until 2025.

Verstappen dominated the day, starting from the pole and winning for the 34th time in his career. He led at the start as Hamilton passed teammate George Russell for second and Perez passed Russell as well.

Hamilton may have led the race when he pitted, but Mercedes chose the harder, more durable tyre compound. Verstappen had a softer, faster tyre, while Hamilton lacked the speed to compete for the win.

Hamilton has two more chances to avoid his first winless season.

Meanwhile, Pierre Gassly received two more penalty points for running Lance Stroll wide off-track, putting him one point away from a one-race suspension.

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