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Mexican Grand Prix 2023

Winners and Losers from the 2023 F1 Mexican Grand Prix

Who has made the list of Winners and Losers on a day of wildly shifting fortunes in Mexico City as yet another record fell to Max Verstappen and his team-mate stared into the abyss.

Verstappen Leclerc Perez Mexico race start
To news overview © XPBimages

There's something about the legendary drivers of Formula 1 - and them mostly ending their careers on a total of race wins that ends with the #1 - fitting perhaps thanks to the race number they carried.

Michael Schumacher ended with 91, Alain Prost 51, Ayrton Senna 41 and Nigel Mansell 31 - of those with more than 30 wins, only three currently have a total not ending with #1.

Lewis Hamilton has 103, Sebastian Vettel 53, and Fernando Alonso 32. And then we come to Max Verstappen.

Of course, he's now got 51 - that number again - to his name having recorded a 16th victory of the year in Mexico City. Indeed, in the 41 races of the ground effects era, he's won 31 of them - equalling Mansell's career tally in 187 starts.

If you throw in the 10 wins he took in 2021, he's equalled Senna's tally of wins in three seasons.

Verstappen will continue to cruise to records in 2023, but our attention for Winners and Losers for the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix starts elsewhere - with The Honey Badger.

Winner - Daniel Ricciardo/AlphaTauri

To get Christian Horner singing off the "remarkable" performance hymn sheet at your first proper race of 2023 was exactly that from Daniel Ricciardo.

As he said, this was no fluke as he put the AlphaTauri consistently in the highest reaches of the top 10, and looked at ease battling away with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

A set-up break-through coupled with a full allocation of practice sessions meant Ricciardo could get dialled into the ever-improving AT04, with the results clear for all to see.

As auditions go for a return to the Red Bull seat he craves, it was all rather Greg Heffley from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid singing meme currently doing the rounds.

What did Ricciardo say?

“We were holding Oscar [Piastri] at bay, at least at that moment. I was like 'This could be a nice, lonely fifth place' and I was okay with that. So I definitely think we could have been better than seventh, let’s say that, without the red flag. But that's racing."

			© Red Bull Content Pool
	© Red Bull Content Pool

Loser - Sergio Perez

Oh dear.

The second rule in the racing driver handbook - beyond that of 'Don't hit your team-mate' is 'You can't win the race at the first corner, but you can lose it.'

Would Sergio Perez have gone for the move at Turn 1 if it was in the United States or if he was an Italian racing in Mexico - it is doubtful as the gap opened up and he ultimately tried his luck around the outside.

But the mistake came in not overcoming the bright lights and bushy tails soon enough and sweeping across the sandwiched Charles Leclerc.

Despite words of sympathy from Messrs Horner and Marko, the damage arguably put the final nail in the coffin for Perez at Red Bull. He is a driver broken and, with little interest from teams elsewhere on the grid (not that he'd want to drop down from Red Bull), it now feels like a matter of when, not if.

Was Sergio Perez right to attempt the move into Turn 1? Let us know in the comments and by voting in the poll!

Winner - Lewis Hamilton

It might be coming up for two years since Hamilton last won a Grand Prix, but he's still as motivated and on it as ever to add #104 to his tally.

Good pace in the first stint led to an undercut of Carlos Sainz which banked a podium but he was never going to catch Leclerc for second - until the red flag proved a reset.

Five laps after the restart on the Mediums, he bravely dipped a wheel onto the grass and eased past the Ferrari to bank a sixth podium of the season and just a second (legal) one since the British Grand Prix.

Coupled with a 65th career fastest lap, it was a haul of 19 points against Perez further reducing his lead to 20 points.

Hamilton is arguably favourite to finish second despite the advantage Perez still holds.

What did Hamilton say?

"We weren't having to push crazy hard out there, but this is a great result considering we started sixth. I'm really proud of the team."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Loser - George Russell

While Hamilton is producing one of his best non-title-winning seasons, George Russell is firmly stuck in the second-season syndrome.

Sixth place represented another weekend where he was not quite at Hamilton's level and nearly being beaten by an AlphaTauri is not acceptable in a Mercedes - no matter if a pumped-up Australian is driving it.

Lando Norris also set him up beautifully while carving up through the field in a season Russell concedes has been a disaster.

What did Russell say?

"I totally lost all the temperature in my tyres, I could not recover it and was like driving on ice for the last 15 laps, so a pretty miserable feeling."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Winner - Lando Norris

From the lows of Saturday to a brilliant comeback drive on Sunday, this was arguably Norris's best drive in F1.

He maximised the McLaren strategy of starting on Softs to vault up the order at the start before stopping early for clean air and a set of Hards. He had worked his way to 10th by the red flag - which basically gave him a free pit-stop for Mediums.

Despite fluffing his start, he scythed through the field after losing five places, barging past Ricciardo and Russell - and just running out of time to catch old mucker Sainz.

He was unjustly harsh on himself post-race, but that first win surely can't be too far away.

What did Norris say?

"We put a lot of focus on today, that was evident and paid off, but I'm never going to be happy after a day like [Saturday] right? Because I know what we're capable of doing."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Loser - Haas

Nico Hulkenberg put up a valiant defence of 10th place against the Alpines late on, but that was about as good as it got for Haas - now last in the Constructors'.

Its Austin upgrades have failed to deliver the impact the team hoped for with tyre degradation still a huge problem.

To be fair, Mexico has usually been a torrid race for the team, scoring points only once - in 2017 with Kevin Magnussen in eighth.

This time around, Magnussen destroyed his car when the suspension broke at Turn 9 - bringing something of a relief to the Dane who had endured an awful weekend up until that point.

What did Magnussen say?

"Suddenly I fell off [the cliff] more than the others [with tyre degradation and] then the suspension gave up, so I don't know if it's related."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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