RESULTS: Mexican Grand Prix – Race results
Nico Rosberg has revealed he thought had a chance to take the lead of the Mexican Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton out-braked himself at Turn 1, only for his team-mate and title rival to run across the grass and retain his lead.
Both drivers enjoyed clean starts at the beginning of the race with Hamilton shifting over to the inside of the track to defend his line into Turn 1. However, the Briton braked too late and locked his right-front brake, sending him off the circuit where he cut through the grass and continued the race with his lead.
“I was excited at that point in time because I thought I'd got him,” Rosberg said after the race.
“That was some pretty late braking there, but then he floored it through the grass and that's that. Then again, that's not for me to judge.”
As Hamilton was dealing with his lock up and re-joining the track, Rosberg found himself in a tangle of his own at Turn 1 as Max Verstappen also braked late and locked up, making contact with Rosberg and edging him off the track.
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“He [Verstappen] went over the limit, he locked up the front tyre, ran wide and shoved me off the track because it was a pretty big impact. It doesn't look that big on TV, but feeling-wise it was a massive impact and I thought OK, my car is done, and my steering had a bit of an offset after that. Penalty or not it's not for me to judge, it's for them up there and I accept that.”
During his first stint on the soft compound tyre, Rosberg began to slip off his team-mate's pace by half a second and even stayed out three laps longer than Hamilton who pitted on lap 17. The German made his pit stop at the end of lap 20 for the same medium tyre and then began to match his team-mate's pace
However, with his challenge eventually neutered when he lost time switching back underneath Verstappen when he made an unsuccessful lunge for second, Rosberg conceded he simply didn't have the measure of Hamilton this weekend
“What we're doing is managing the tyres to do the best possible race, I knew the stint was going to be very long, and at the end of the stint I was doing some really good times which meant I should stay out longer, so that's what I was doing, managing my stint lengths, it has nothing to do pure performance at that point in time.”
“I was going for the win out there today, it didn't work out, Lewis did a great job, he was a little bit faster all weekend, in qualifying two-tenths and in the race a litter bit faster. I accept it, I accept second place, it's OK.”
With a 19 point lead over Hamillton with two races remaining, a win in Brazil – where Hamilton has never won – will see him crowned champion.
POINTS: The F1 World Championship standings after the Mexican GP
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