Sports Desk, Oct 30 (EFE).- Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who three weeks ago was crowned Formula One world champion for the third time, won the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his own record of victories in a single season to 16.
Verstappen’s fifth win in Mexico raised his tally of F1 victories to 51, equalling Frenchman Alain Prost as the racer with the fourth highest wins in the sport’s history.
The 26-year-old Dutchman took the lead at the start of the race at the Autódromo de los Hermanos Rodríguez to finish ahead of Englishman Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, who competed with Mercedes.
Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap and now trails Sergio Perez by 20 points in a battle for the second spot in the drivers’ championship.
Local favorite Perez crashed out of the race on his home track.
Monacan Charles Leclerc, who made his 100th Grand Prix start for Ferrari, finished third in a race in which his Spanish Ferrari-mate Carlos Sainz finished fourth.
Verstappen, popularly known as ‘Mad Max’, once again with a powerful display of skillful driving, stamped his presence as one of the most dominant racers in Formula One.
With three races to go this season, the Dutchman has an opportunity to equal or even surpass another quadruple world champion, German driver Sebastian Vettel, who led Red Bull to its previous glorious journey between 2010 and 2013, while lapping up 53 career triumphs.
Last season, the “flying” Dutchman had broken German legend Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record of the highest number of Grand Prix victories in a single F1 season (13).
“It’s been another incredible season,” Verstappen said after his most recent victory.
“The car’s been unbelievable to drive in most places. When you then, as a team, work really well together you try not to make too many mistakes over the whole season, then you can achieve something like that.
“Of course I’m very proud of the achievement, because I think after last year when I won 15 I was like, well if I can ever try to replicate something like that I would be very happy. Now we are here with 16, so just very happy with everyone’s performance in the team for the whole year, basically not making a lot of mistakes.”
Brazil’s Sao Paulo will host the next race on Nov. 5, followed by Las Vegas on Nov. 19 and Abu Dhabi on Nov. 26. EFE