F1 Mexican GP: Rosberg seals F1’s Return-to-Mexico race win

2015 F1 Mexican GP Nico Rosberg Formula One Drivers’ Championship runner up Nico Rosberg finally completed a victory for the season, his fourth of the current campaign. The victory came a little too late as Lewis Hamilton had already sealed a repeat title at the previous Grand Prix. Rosberg finished almost two seconds ahead of Hamilton for his 12th career win, and it was Mercedes’ tenth 1-2 finish of the year.

Williams got back to being the next best team to Mercedes at the Mexican GP as Valtteri Bottas completed the podium with a third place. Bottas topped the two Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo as well as team mate Felipe Massa in the battle of the midfield. Two Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean completed the roster as top ten finishers.

Despite dropping some points to Rosberg, Hamilton still holds a big lead (73 points) from Rosberg. Rosberg, meanwhile, is 21 points clear of Sebastien Vettel, who didn’t finish the race. In the Constructors, Mercedes now lead Ferrari by 243 points in the rankings.

Here’s the top ten drivers’ quotes:

Nico Rosberg: “That was the best podium of my life! Thousands and thousands of people singing your name after winning on a great track… it’s unbelievable! In that moment you feel like a rock star on stage and I enjoyed every second. I had a good Qualifying and was able to control the race from the front, responding each time Lewis came closer. It was tricky because there was really no grip on the rears – especially after the Safety Car, with cold tyres. But in the end I felt comfortable.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I was pushing so hard, giving absolutely everything that I had, and I think I had more pace than Nico. But, unfortunately, you can’t really follow another car here. The closer and closer you get it’s like two negative poles of a pair of magnets repelling each other, so there was nothing I could do. I knew I needed a good start to get the run on Nico into Turn One. But I had hardly any tow and, from there, he made no mistakes. When it came to the pit stops, there was no real stress. At the time, I just didn’t agree with the decision to pit a second time, that’s all. The team takes these decisions and I abide by them but I initially wasn’t sure on this one. As it turned out, there was then a Safety Car anyway. I have full confidence in these guys and we still got the 1-2 as a team, so that’s positive. I have to say, it’s been the best week and the best crowd I’ve ever seen here in Mexico.”

Valtteri Bottas: “I’m very pleased with the result today. Every decision from the team on strategy was right, so I’m really delighted with what we achieved as a team. Regarding the incident with one of the Ferraris, it was unlucky that it was me and him again but of course I didn’t want it to end up like that.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a very positive race for the team, to have a good fight with Red Bull and come out with a podium is encouraging on a track that suits them better than it does us. From my perspective it wasn’t the best race, I struggled with the rear tyres in the second stint and lost one position because of it. After the safety car I didn’t have the best run, and as a result didn’t get the chance to pass the cars ahead. I am a little disappointed, but as a team we can be really proud of the performance.”

Daniil Kvyat: “The podium was very close and we were fighting until the end, but on the restart after the safety car we didn’t have enough pace on the straight and Williams went full bananas, so Bottas passed me quite easily. It was a shame about not getting on the podium, I thought we had it and we deserved it today, and maybe without the safety car we would have, but that’s racing and we have to accept it. The race was still fantastic though; good racing, good controlled laps and I’m happy with how all 71 laps went.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “It was a bit of a frustrating race. During the first stint with the options we weren’t really quick enough. With the prime I thought I had really good pace, but once I caught the Williams I couldn’t pass them. We lost a lot of time there and in hindsight, when the Safety Car came out, I would have liked to put the primes on as I felt I was a lot more competitive with them than with the options. Maybe it would have given us a better chance of getting to the podium. I wouldn’t say we were all that quick today, but to get both cars in the top 5 is okay. Sure we both want more but we’ll see what happens in Brazil.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a good race, although I was quite lonely for most of it. We couldn’t have gotten any more from it so I feel very happy with the result. The Safety Car ended up playing into my hands, which is the little bit of luck you always need to get a good result, but our pace was strong and we were able to hold our own. I am really happy about this performance and finally getting back in the points after a bit of a difficult period for me. It was a very clean race from my part, with no mistakes and no problems.”

Sergio Perez: “What a week this has been here in Mexico! The atmosphere has been amazing and there were so many special moments. The race today was probably one of the most difficult of my career because I was very unlucky with the timing of the safety car, which really didn’t help my one-stop strategy. We chose not to pit when it came out because we thought there was a chance to jump Nico (Hulkenberg) and Felipe (Massa), but in reality that didn’t happen. Then the team told me that the cars behind had all pitted and fitted new tyres, so I was a bit worried because I knew the final fifteen laps would be very difficult. To stay ahead of them and finish in eighth place is probably one of my best performances in Formula One and I’m very happy I could score points in front of my home crowd.”

Max Verstappen: “I had a good start and to be running in P6 during my first stint was great, but we had some heating issues, which definitely cost us a lot of lap time unfortunately. But we need to focus on the positives, I think P9 is the best we could do today and I’m happy to have scored some more points, closing the gap to Lotus a bit more.”

Romain Grosjean: “It was a pleasure to race in front of them, especially in the awesome stadium area where everyone was so passionate. It’s good to score, even if it was only one point! It was a long race and not easy as there was a lot to manage. The car was good on medium tyres, less so on softs. The safety car meant it was too risky not to come in and that meant finishing the race on the soft compound. This weekend was all about finding the grip and the track was definitely improving massively throughout the race. I think next year will be even more fun to drive once the grip has improved.”

The circus next moves to Interlagos for the penultimate race of the season, from 13 – 15 November.

2015 F1 Mexican GP podium2015 F1 Mexican GP Start 2015 F1 Mexican GP Rosberg chased by Hamilton

2015 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix results

1 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:42:35.038
2 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES +1.954
3 VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS +14.592
4 DANIIL KVYAT RED BULL RACING +16.572
5 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL RACING +19.682
6 FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS +21.493
7 NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA +25.860
8 SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA +34.343
9 MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO +35.229
10 ROMAIN GROSJEAN LOTUS +37.934
11 PASTOR MALDONADO LOTUS +38.538
12 MARCUS ERICSSON SAUBER +40.180
13 CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO +48.772
14 JENSON BUTTON MCLAREN +49.214
15 ALEXANDER ROSSI MARUSSIA +2 laps

Qualifying
1 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:19.480
2 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 1:19.668
3 SEBASTIAN VETTEL FERRARI 1:19.850
4 DANIIL KVYAT RED BULL RACING 1:20.398
5 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL RACING 1:20.399
6 VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS 1:20.448
7 FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS 1:20.567
8 MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 1:20.710
9 SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA 1:20.716
10 NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA 1:20.788

Drivers standings
1 LEWIS HAMILTON 345
2 NICO ROSBERG 272
3 SEBASTIAN VETTEL 251
4 VALTTERI BOTTAS 126
5 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN 123
6 FELIPE MASSA 117
7 DANIIL KVYAT 88
8 DANIEL RICCIARDO 84
9 SERGIO PEREZ 68
10 MAX VERSTAPPEN 47
11 ROMAIN GROSJEAN 45
12 NICO HULKENBERG 44
13 FELIPE NASR 27
14 PASTOR MALDONADO 26
15 CARLOS SAINZ 18
16 JENSON BUTTON 16
17 FERNANDO ALONSO 11
18 MARCUS ERICSSON 9

Constructors rankings
1 MERCEDES 617
2 FERRARI 374
3 WILLIAMS 243
4 RED BULL RACING 172
5 FORCE INDIA 112
6 LOTUS 71
7 TORO ROSSO 65
8 SAUBER 36
9 MCLAREN 27