1 November 2017

Six hours after the race...


Joe Saward is a motorsport journalist, primarily covering Formula 1, and has done since 1988. Joe has attended over 500 races and is therefore considered one of a very small group of opinion formers at the very centre of this multi-billion dollar global business.

Max Verstappen won a brilliant victory for Red Bull Racing in Mexico City – but he wasn’t the story.

At the third corner Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel brushed as they fought for the lead. They both lost momentum and Lewis Hamilton went to the outside to pass them both. He couldn’t get Max, but he was ahead of Vettel… and then Sebastian drove into the back of Lewis, puncturing Lewis’s right rear. Some though it deliberate, but that made no sense at all. Vettel needed to win the race to keep his slim World Championship hopes alive. The accident ended all chance he had. It hurt Lewis, but it hurt Vettel more. He was the architect of his own downfall (again) and it seemed a strange thing to have done.

The FIA Stewards decided that Sebastian was out of control and was unable to avoid the rear of the Mercedes and did not consider that an investigation was required. Vettel had ruined his own chances. There was a little inconsistency here because the FIA Stewards have often seemed to investigate the opening of envelopes, but the edict these days (except last week in Austin) is that the drivers should be allowed to race. This is what the teams have asked for and so no-one can really complain. All this meant that most of the coverage of the race was the battles that Vettel and Hamilton hed to get back to the front, rather than Vertsappen’s super drive. He enjoyed it, but he barely appeared until the last lap. It was great entertainment. The sort of thing that a World Championship showdown should be…

– We look at the question of track limits
– We ask Paddy Lowe how he can fix Williams
– We interview rising star Charles Leclerc
– We remember the wackiest of all motor racing events
– JS explains his feelings about Lewis Hamilton’s fourth title
– DT praises the passion of F1 folk and of the Mexicans
– The Hack gets a little teary-eyed at a new movie
– Peter Nygaard and his team capture Mexico

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