Mexico Grand Prix: First corner lunge from Max Verstappen could define championship - Button

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Max Verstappen's daring first corner sweep around the outside of the two Mercedes at the Mexico Grand Prix could be the defining moment in this year's Formula 1 championship fight, says Jenson Button.

The race in Mexico City was poised wonderfully well come 7pm UK time last night as the Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Sergio Perez, after a disappointing qualifying, lined up behind the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

By the first corner, though, things had changed dramatically in the running order with Verstappen swooping around the outside and throwing out the anchors later than everyone else to take the lead, as Bottas was spun around by Daniel Ricciardo in his McLaren.

Indeed, from there, Verstappen was very much in a league of his own with even the great Lewis Hamilton unable to match his pace and, indeed, the Dutchman now holds a 19-point advantage over his British title rival.

For 2009 champ Button, meanwhile, that moment at the first corner on Sunday could well be one of the defining moments of the championship once the dust has settled in Abu Dhabi in December:

"It was a brave, brave move around the outside of the Mercedes'," Button said to Sky

"He knew where to brake, he'd been braking there all through the weekend, and it was a lot easier on the racing line.


"But he had the confidence to turn in and know they were not going to tap him on the rear. It was a great move and it could be a defining moment in this championship."

Certainly, such moments can swing a race and, in turn, a title fight, and with four Grands Prix to go Verstappen is in the pound seats.

He knows how quickly things can change in this sport, though, and so there'll be no title celebrations for a while yet.

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