The cars make their way to the pits. Chance now for everyone to get some running repairs.
While the barriers are tested, and while Magnussen’s Haas is shovelled away, that’s that for the moment.
34/71 There’s flames coming out of the stricken Haas car. Looks like the suspension went. Magnussen got out fine.
33/71 Sounds like Hamilton will be staying out for the race…uh oh, a crash. Kevin Magnussen has had a big crash. Into a barrier. The Haas car has taken a terrible bang, and there’s a safety car.
32/71 Leclerc pits now, and manages to do so and keep Hamilton at bay to retain third. That places Verstappen at the front.
31/71 The Ferrari garage is asking Sainz to pit, and Hamilton goes up to third.
30/71 Sad scenes as Sergio Perez is discussing his exit from the race with local media.
29/71 Verstappen goes past Sainz with ease. Ferrari still yet to pit. Russell has overtaken Albon and is in seventh.
28/71 Russell not happy he ends up coming in behind Bottas. He’s beyond Bottas and Albon is ahead.
27/71 Russell comes in for a 2.6 second penalty. Hamilton is in fifth, on the tail of Ricciardo. Verstappen is setting fastest laps.
26/71 Ferrari have decided they don’t want to pit just yet, and will stay out front for a one-stop strategy,
25/71 Hamilton pits, and ends up behind Russell in seventh. He’s on the harder tyres now. Verstappen is now in third, having overtaken Ricciardo.
24/71 Hamilton’s not so close to the Ferraris now. He seems to be biding his time and keeping his car cool in the process.
23/71 Verstappen goes past Piastri and is in fifth. He’s heading towards the front of the field without mercy.
22/71 Verstappen, on those fresh tyres, blazes past Russell to take sixth.
21 /71 Leclerc, Sainz and Hamilton are the three leaders but none of them has pitted. Will Verstappen try and go the full distance on one stop. Fuel may be an issue. He’s dropped to seventh, and was told to take things easy.
20/71 Sainz is within half a second of Sainz, and Verstappen, who has been complaining about his tyres, wants to pit. Verstappen drops to fifth in pitting and changing to harder tyres.
19/71 News of Perez is that the floor of his car was ruined. His departure has robbed this race of plenty of interest.
18/71 Hamilton is told to ease off a little and make sure the grading on his tyres doesn’t become too much of a problem.
17/71 Hamilton has been told about grading on his tyre but he’s the man most likely to make things happen up at the front.
16/71 Hamilton is chasing Sainz. He has the two Ferraris between him and Verstappen. And Hamilton gives the seal of approval on his car’s performance.
15/71 Tsunoda, having pitted, has set the fastest lap, from being second-bottom in the race.
14/71 Sainz, in third, is told “we’re on Plan A”, and is dutifully following teammate Leclerc.
13/71 Verstappen is being asked to mind a kerb at turn three. All the teams are telling their drivers to be aware of the heat in their cars.
12/71 Verstappen is 3.2 seconds clear, getting plenty of fresh air out in front. Lando Norris pits Russell and Piastri is the latest chase.
11/71 Hamilton bided his time well, and eventually went past Ricciardo, having preserved his battery energy. Behind him, teammate Russell is chasing Piastri.
10/71 Hamilton is looking for cooler air, worrying about his car overheating and so dropping back. Ricciardo will have fourth for now.
9/71 Looks like Tsunoda used the grass to overtake Magnussen and the dirt from the grass is likely to drag him back.
8/71 Hamilton thinks about passing again but once more the gap is closed down. Verstappen has a lead of around two seconds.
7/71 It’s a quick, tight track, this one. Hamilton chases down Ricciardo’s Alpha but is blocked off. It’s tough to pass.
6/71 Verstappen is setting fastest laps. Red Bull have still not confirmed that Perez is done. He’s out of the car now, and looking desolate. It’s surely over. It was over from the opening seconds.
5/71 Red Bull are still trying to get Perez out and about while already a few laps down. There’s a virtual safety car as that piece of Leclerc’s wing is still out on track. It’s finally collected. Will Leclerc be proved over driving around in a damage car?
4/71 Leclerc has lost the damaged bit of his front wing. That’s probably a good thing. He and Sainz are chasing Verstappen, with Ricciardo and Hamilton together.
3/71 As Perez escaped off the side, there’s no safety car on. Instead, Verstappen speeds on.
2/71 Perez slams his steering wheel, and the crowd groans. He’s out of the car, and the Red Bull driver is out, and perhaps out of Red Bull as his disappointments continue. The gamble did not pay off at all. It looks like it was all his own fault.
Lance Stroll starts from the pit lane..but as the lights go out, there’s a crash, and Perez, the home hero flies off. Charles Leclerc, on pole has crashed into him. Verstappen leads. Hamilton gives chase to Ricciardo. Disaster for Perez, he went spinning off into the gravel. Russell and Piastri just about stayed out of trouble. Verstappen leads Leclerc, whose car carries danger. Perez heads to the garage.
We are at altitude here, of course, making the conditions harder for the drivers. Though so many of the tracks these days ask such questions of them. The formation lap takes place.
Here’s the Mexican national anthem, as all rise. It’s sung by schoolchildren, and the camera focuses on Sergio Perez. The rest of the drivers are sheltering under parasols in the heat. As national anthems go, it’s mid-length. As is customary, it is followed by some Queen, just as at the Rugby World Cup final. Freddie Mercury has to be heard.
It looks hot in Mexico City, and the concern is that the track may present difficulties to the drivers, with a low grip. Max Verstappen has plans, though: “It’s not won or lost at the start, it’s such a long race. There’s no need to be super risky in turn one and risk a shunt or whatever.
The teams are going through their final touches after what turned out to be a pretty odd qualifying, with a change in conditions landing Leclerc on pole. The cars have been on test laps and Lewis Hamilton looked a little uneasy with his Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton had high hopes ahead of this weekend.
Definitely we have taken a step forwards. Over these next four races, I can’t predict which one we’re going to be closer, which one we may or may not be further away. We were close here last year. So hopefully we will be a little bit closer maybe this weekend. If we get the strategy right this weekend maybe we can really take the fight to them.
“You have people like Lewis [Hamilton] or Fernando with 15, 20 years of experience and when you start racing against guys you grew up watching on TV it can be a little bit daunting,” he says. “But at the same time it is pretty special to be able to race against those guys and to be able to fight against them is a nice reassurance that they are not alien.”
One striking element about Piastri’s debut season has been is how swiftly he has adapted, even in the rarefied air of world champions, an achievement of which he is rightly proud.
Mexico City, where Max Verstappen is going for his fifth win, to extend one of the many records he continues to break. This time, he will have to do it from third on the grid, with two Ferraris ahead of him as he seeks to continue his sequence of having won every race but three this season. Lewis Hamilton fancies a win, too. It’s been too long since he enjoyed one in his Mercedes and he was close last time, before being disqualified for a technical issue. His problem is that he has traffic to get through, including Sergio Perez, the home hero whose distant relationship with Verstappen has made him unpopular with the Mexican tifosi.
1) Charles Leclerc
2) Carlos Sainz
3) Max Verstappen
4) Daniel Ricciardo
5) Sergio Perez
6) Lewis Hamilton
7) Oscar Piastri
8) George Russell
9) Valtteri Bottas
10) Zhou Guanyu
11) Pierre Gasly
12) Nico Hulkenberg
13) Fernando Alonso
14) Alex Albon
15) Esteban Ocon
16) Kevin Magnussen
17) Lance Stroll
18) Lando Norris
19) Logan Sargeant
20) Yuki Tsunoda*
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2023/oct/29/mexican-grand-prix-formula-one-live Mexican Grand Prix: Formula One – live | Formula One