The atmosphere at the Post Qualifying Press Conference at the Mexican GP was a little frigid. While pole man Nico Rosberg and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton (who’d qualified second on the grid) declared that the events of the US GP that had preceded this race were firmly behind them, there was still some amount of tension in the air. Tension that perhaps worsened when the third-fastest driver, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, suggested that if the two men ahead of him planned on tangling, they ought to do it in such a way that they would take each other out, leaving the way clear for him to drive right through to the win. Well, as things turned out, it was Vettel who’d end up in the barriers, while Rosberg and Hamilton drove relatively undisturbed to the top two steps of the podium. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas would join them on the rostrum, having finished third.
When the five red lights went out at Mexico, Rosberg got off to a good start, with Hamilton trying hard to challenge his team-mate but not managing to do so. Behind them, Vettel clashed with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, and ended up with a left-rear puncture. He pitted and had to spend a good portion of his race fighting back up the order once he rejoined the race. But it didn’t help that he spun on the eighteenth lap of the race, proceeded to flat-spot his tyre and then lost control of the Ferrari on the 52nd lap, ending his race in the barriers.
It was a disappointing race for Ferrari for other reasons as well. Kimi Raikkonen, who’d started 19th and managed to claw his way through the pack clashed with Bottas. It was an incident reminiscent of the pair’s scrap at the Russian GP earlier this year. Raikkonen ended up going into retirement this time. Bottas, meanwhile, managed to convert his scrapping into a podium position, getting the jump on Ricciardo when the Safety Car (that had been brought out due to Vettel’s crash) headed back into the pits after the restart.
Red Bull’s other driver Daniil Kvyat finished fourth, with Ricciardo fifth and Felipe Massa sixth. Sahara Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finished seventh and eighth, with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen ninth and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean claiming the last point with tenth place.