sOh really white Max Verstappen Maybe not like he does now, but he’s trying to make a hero-worthy casual, even if he seems unsure about it for once. The Red Bull race car and the Dutch pilot are hydraulically lifted from below the podium at the baseball stadium in Mexico City, which is temporarily used as a Formula 1 racetrack, up a notch. The Dutchman looks happy when he slips off the podium after a few seconds and jumps the highest score under his power.
Just as he has done in his 20th World Championship race this season: the Mexican Grand Prix is his third win in a row, but above all his 14th success of the season and a small slap in the face for Mercedes. Now the record he’s been using for a week belongs Michael Schumacher Sebastian Vettel had to play it alone. No other driver in the history of Formula 1 has had more wins in a single season. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez’s appearance badge matches accordingly: a golden helmet and golden boots for the racing drivers.
Verstappen always on the go
Later he will say what all successful pilots always likewise claim: he is not interested in statistics. The casual flirtation with ignorance is just a small part of it, but in fact this Verstappen is someone who is always on the move, less enthused about the glamor of what has been achieved and more about the challenge of his next success. With two more races left, the 25-year-old won’t want to stop at 14 wins: “What a great season. I never thought so many victories were possible. But we are enjoying it and we want more.”
Perhaps he was a little bored during his Sunday ride at 2,228 metres, ‘sailing’ is what race drivers call when they pull away from everyone in front at a controlled pace. 15.1 seconds forward Lewis Hamilton It’s after 71 laps, although Mercedes had a good chance of taking their first win of the season. But the difference is not only made by Verstappen’s perfect start again, but above all by the choice of tyres. It takes the soft tyres, the slightly stiffer Mercedes and then the very hard tyres. “Reach your hand to the toilet,” said Racing Team Principal Toto Wolff, annoyed.
At Red Bull they questioned this rubber tactic early on. The team leader Christian Horner, for whom Verstappen’s victory was a balm after they were penalized for financially exceeding the cost cap for the 2021 season, does not save the malice. “We were surprised that they were so conservative. Dietrich Mateschitz taught us to take risks,” the Briton informs us, “this tire cost Mercedes a potential win for the second time.”
With a bold strategy, it’s easier to handle the feeling of superiority, combined with the knowledge that Verstappen’s aggressive driving style also masks extremely skilful tire management. Horner may recognize “masterful stroking.”
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