Max Verstappen stormed to a third career victory, while Lewis Hamilton secured a fourth World Championship with a P9 finish.
Max Verstappen: “A great win and a fun podium, a Dutch DJ and Dutch driver, what a combination. The start of the race itself was not great but this allowed me to tuck in and get a tow from Sebastian, I had to be a bit aggressive but managed to get around the outside at turn one and from then on I was just doing my own race. I would go as far to say this was one of the easiest races of my career. I felt I missed out on pole yesterday so I had a lot of motivation to get the result I wanted today. To get not just a podium but the win is awesome. We calmed the pace and turned down the engine to make sure we brought the car home so I was just cruising towards the end. I was confident the car was going to be good today after studying the long run pace we have shown this weekend. This track with low speed and low grip suits our car, but even in Austin we had the balance and pace, I just had to come from way down the grid. Once we had got the balance of the car right it was easy for us to do quick lap times and sustain them. I think if we keep working this way and have a better start to the season next year we can look forward to achieving great things. The podium here in Mexico is special to be on as the fans are so passionate and being in the stadium section means the atmosphere is like nowhere else, it definitely made up for missing it last year. Like I said in the car on lap 1, it was simply, simply lovely.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “At the start I did what I could, it was pretty close and there was a lot going on, but I thought I made quick progress. I told Helmut this morning that I would get up to seventh by the end of the first lap, I was a couple of laps off, but I got there and it was all looking pretty good. I think it was lap six when the turbo started to sound strange and then I had no power. I was able to limp back to the pits but that was obviously race over. Friday looked good, things went bad yesterday afternoon and then got worse today. We put the new power unit in last night and now we have a suspected MGU-H failure. There seems to be something fundamental going on with the engines, we’ve been coming here for the last couple of years so there shouldn’t have been any surprises. I guess the altitude and temperatures have been really hard to stay on top of and it’s been a pretty grim weekend for some of us. It’s a shame to be out so early again, I guess this is a little bit of what Max experienced at the start of the year and it’s not so fun. I just hope now that we won’t have to take more penalties in Brazil. I don’t know how I’m smiling and I’m definitely hurting inside but what can I do, I can’t change the situation.”
Valtteri Bottas: “It was quite straightforward after the incident at Turn 2 and 3, I managed to get away with it. I was in P2, we tried to keep up with Max but we didn’t. At some point we had to manage the brakes with the temperatures a little bit, and the same with the engine, so I lost a bit of time with that. It feels good to be back on the podium and it felt like I got the most out of the car. We didn’t have the pace to challenge Max and Red Bull today, which is unfortunate, so we have much to learn from this weekend.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I remember growing up in Stevenage and one day dreaming of being in Formula 1. Here we are 25 years later and four-time world champion.A big thank you to all the fans, thank you for all your continued support, your messages. You guys inspire me just as much as you say I inspire you. Keep pushing whatever you are going through in your life. Don’t ever give up. I hope I stand as a testament to that because there has been so much thrown at me in my life but I keep going and that’s thanks to you guys. Thank you very much Team LH, we win and we lose together.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “After yesterday’s difficulties in qualifying, third place is not too bad, but obviously it is not what we were looking for. The start was not too bad, but then I moved to the left and lost the tow. I found myself blocked and lost many places in the first two corners. Then I had to wait for the cars in front to stop, to be able to push and gain positions. My car was a bit better than yesterday and we had decent speed. Once I was third, I could try to catch up, but I was too far from Valtteri and there was nothing I could really do. I focused on finishing the race and on keeping my position. This year we have made a good step forward from last season, but obviously we still have a few small things to improve. I think that in this season we’ve had a good and solid car. Lately we’ve had some issues, but the speed has been there. Obviously too many DNFs cost us a lot in the Championship. For next year we have to minimise those issues, improve things and learn from this season.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I know the team has been working hard, doing their best, but we didn’t achieve what we wanted to. It’s hard to cross the line realising that you are not in the fight anymore. I fought to the end, giving everything I had. Then obviously in the last laps, when I had a big gap to Kimi, it would have been difficult for me to close it without something happening, like a Safety Car, but I was still believing. But in the end it didn’t happen. For sure it is not a great day for us, but it’s not about us today, it’s about Lewis and I congratulate him. Tomorrow you wake up and it will be a different day. The team is growing, and there are many positive aspects. Overall, I think we are on the right path.”