The Mexican Grand Prix that took place a fortnight ago will not live long in the memory.
After a tough first lap, Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg, who stayed in the driving seat in the title race.
The race did take a controversial twist in the final few laps, though, with Max Verstappen losing out on third place after cutting the chicane at turn one.
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Hamilton, who started on pole in Mexico City, dominated the race from start to finish, picking up his 51st career win, drawing him level with Alain Prost in second on the all-time list.
The real action, however, took place behind the Mercedes pair in the race for third. Verstappen crossed the line in third place after holding off Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
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Vettel, though, was promoted to third place minutes before the podium after Verstappen picked up a five-second penalty for cutting the chicane at turn one and cutting the second corner.
Third place eventually went to Daniel Ricciardo, however, when Vettel was punished under new laws banning moving under braking.
Many wondered why Hamilton was not punished for committing a similar offence to Verstappen when he also ran wide at the first corner.
Ricciardo was another one confused, saying: “I don’t understand the start. How you can be leading the race, defend, lock your wheels and go off-track and still stay in the lead. I think Lewis deserved a penalty.”
Race director Charlie Whiting took the chance at the pre-race press conference to explain why Verstappen was punished and Hamilton was not.
He said that data showed that Hamilton’s car slowed when it returned to the track, while Verstappen was defending Vettel when he lost control.
When asked about the incident, Whiting said: “If Max had done the same thing between turns three and four, he would have certainly lost his place. So the stewards felt he deserved a penalty because he had gained a lasting advantage. That’s the fundamental difference.”
Rosberg can secure his first World Championship title with a victory this weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix, a course where Hamilton has never won.
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