F1 update as Verstappen flies clear and Perez puts pressure on Hamilton – .

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F1 update as Verstappen flies clear and Perez puts pressure on Hamilton – .


(AFP via Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton is aiming to close the gap with Max Verstappen leading the drivers’ championship after Mercedes were locked out at the top spot in the Mexican Grand Prix. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas is on pole ahead of Hamilton in second, with Max Verstappen third on the grid alongside his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez fourth. Verstappen currently leads the standings, 12 points ahead of rival Hamilton and five races to go.

Red Bull had dominated all the sessions leading up to qualifying, but got their set-up wrong when it counted, struggling with the soft tires and abandoning the front of the grid. But the pace of practice was promising enough to suggest the Red Bulls can strike back during the race. But it’s Bottas on pole, for the second time in three races, and he could play a key role in how this race goes.

“I have to enjoy this pole a bit, but then change my mind for tomorrow,” Bottas told Sky Sports at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Saturday. “You never know what the race situation will be. I’m still 100% sure that there might be a circumstance where I could still win the race and I believe in it and I hope so. But if not, I will support Lewis and get the maximum points for us as a team.

Follow all of the race action live from the Mexican Grand Prix below.

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Lap 56/71: Perez is now three seconds behind Hamilton, with 15 laps to go! What an end we have in store. Can you imagine if Perez overtakes the defending champion to finish second in his home Grand Prix?

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:23 PM
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Lap 55/71: Ah, we’re back where we were 20 laps ago, because Ricciardo has Bottas back in his mirrors. Will the Mercedes finally be able to pull it off?
Further on, the Ferraris evolve in fifth and sixth position and should make huge gains over McLaren among manufacturers. Ferrari wants to swap Leclerc and Sainz, because Sainz turns faster.
I don’t think Leclerc liked it.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:21 PM
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Tour 53/71: And Hamilton gets a little picky: “Are you still here? he said over the team radio. If his Mercedes team spoke to him, they would say Perez is now less than five seconds behind him and his title rival currently holds the fastest lap bonus point.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:19 PM
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Lap 51/71: Perez narrowed the gap again to 5.3 seconds. But Verstappen suddenly appears with the fastest lap of the race!

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:17 PM
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Lap 49/71: It’s safe to say, barring a disaster, that Verstappen almost finished the Mexican Grand Prix.
The important thing now is whether Perez will catch up with Hamilton – the local rider just completed 1.2 seconds faster on this lap! He’s only six seconds behind him!

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:14 PM
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Lap 46/71: Perez continues to move closer to Hamilton – he just completed 0.7 seconds faster than the Mercedes. Red Bull also informs Verstappen that their tires are good, so no drama there.
Meanwhile, Bottas came back behind Ricciardo.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:10 PM
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Lap 44/71: Verstappen expresses some concern about his left front tire, but I don’t think there is an immediate problem for the race leader. Norris moved up to seventh after starting 18th but had yet to be at the pit. He finally does and comes out in 10th place, again behind Alonso. Every driver has now stopped at least once, and here’s how we are.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:09 PM
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Lap 43/71: best lap for Perez! This is important for two reasons. First, he seeks to close the gap with Hamilton and second, he takes the fastest point in Hamilton.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:05 PM
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Lap 42/71: Disaster for Bottas, his afternoon goes from bad to worse. His front tire gets stuck due to a tight nut and it costs him several seats. He came down to 15th, three places behind Ricciardo now.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:04 PM
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Lap 41/71: And here is the leader of the race! Perez enters the pits, and it’s another Red Bull flying stop! It emerges about nine seconds behind Hamilton. He lost several seconds on Hamilton but his tires will be much cooler when we get to the final stages of the race.

Jamie BraidwoodNovember 7, 2021 8:02 PM

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