- Sebastian Vettel takes the DHL Fastest Lap for fifth time this season
- The Ferrari driver set a new lap record for the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
- Lewis Hamilton still leads the DHL Fastest Lap Award
DHL Fastest Lap Predictor Game
Fastest Driver Group 1: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 1:18.785
Fastest Driver Group 2: Sergio Perez (Force India) - 1:19.929
Fastest Driver Group 3: Romain Grosjean (Haas) - 1:20.345
Sebastian Vettel takes DHL Fastest Lap in Mexico
Ninth place was enough for Lewis Hamilton to become the 2017 Formula 1 World Champion in the Mexican Grand Prix before the season has even ended. The Mercedes driver collided shortly after the start with his title rival Sebastian Vettel, so they both had to make an early pit stop and dropped down to the rear of the field. Vettel then fought his way up into fourth, but it was not enough to put the title decider off until another day.
“I am incredibly grateful when I think about everything that was going on this year and everything that had to be in place to produce this result. I didn’t do this on my own, there are over a thousand people back in Brackley and Brixworth who have created this beast that has given me the opportunity to exploit my abilities,” said Hamilton, totally overwhelmed at the thought of now having achieved four world titles like Vettel and Alain Prost.
Vettel was disappointed at having been beaten to the title. After all, he had already put on record his intention to be the first Ferrari driver since Kimi Räikkönen to win the World Championship title. “I know the team has been working hard, doing their best, but we didn’t achieve what we wanted to”, said the German. “It’s hard to cross the line, realizing that you are not in the fight anymore. I fought to the end, giving everything I had.”
Vettel made a strong charge up the field after the collision on the first lap, overtaking driver after driver in quick succession and moved up into fourth place. As he did so, the Ferrari driver posted the DHL Fastest Lap with a time of 1:18.785 on Lap 68, setting a new lap record for the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
“Then obviously in the last laps, when I had a big gap to Kimi, it would have been difficult for me to close it without something happening, like a safety car, but I was still believing. But in the end it didn’t happen,” said Vettel, which explains why he kept the pedal to the metal until the end of the race despite the big deficit. “For sure, it’s not a great day for us, but it’s not about us today, it’s about Lewis, and I congratulate him.”
Max Verstappen took the second-fastest lap of the race. The Red Bull driver won this race taking place back-to-back with the US Grand Prix and was only marginally slower than Vettel, burning a time of 1:18.892 into the Mexican asphalt. “To get not just a podium but the win is awesome,” said a delighted Verstappen. “We calmed the pace and turned down the engine to make sure we brought the car home, so I was just cruising towards the end.”
Fastest race laps: FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO 2017
01 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:18.785 - on Lap 68
02 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:18.892 - on Lap 65
03 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:19.374 - on Lap 70
04 Sergio Pérez (Force India) 1:19.929 - on Lap 54
05 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:19.945 - on Lap 69
06 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 1:20.054 - on Lap 59
07 Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1:20.345 - on Lap 64
08 Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) 1:20.859 - on Lap 70
09 Esteban Ocon (Force India) 1:20.946 - on Lap 67
10 Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) 1:20.972 - on Lap 66
History: DHL Fastest Laps in the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO
Sebastian Vettel broke the lap record for the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez with his DHL Fastest Lap of 1:18.785. The previous record of 1:20.521 was set by Nico Rosberg in 2015 on Formula 1’s return to Mexico.
The fastest ever F1 race lap achieved in Mexico was a 1:16.788 by Nigel Mansell in 1991, but that was on a different configuration of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez which has been modified since then.
Lewis Hamilton retains lead in the DHL Fastest Lap Award
Having taken seven wins on the day, Lewis Hamilton leads in the DHL Fastest Lap Award stakes from Sebastian Vettel, who has secured the DHL Fastest Lap five times this season. Vettel can still draw level with Hamilton by taking the DHL Fastest Lap in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, otherwise, the trophy will go to the Mercedes driver for the third time since 2014 and 2015.