P2 and P4 for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, scoring strong points and racing for the podium on merit.
Lewis secured a strong P2 finish in Mexico City with a Medium / Hard tyre strategy, moving him ahead of SAI in the Drivers’ standings.
George finished P4 and manage to secure an extra point for setting the fastest lap.
The team continues to show competitive performance, building on the final upgrade of the season introduced for last weekend’s race in Austin.
The team scored a total of 31 points thanks to George’s fastest lap on the final lap of the race, further closing the gap to Ferrari in P2 and is now only 40 points behind.
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It was a good race for me today, although we didn’t choose the right tyre strategy in hindsight. Nonetheless, to be this close to Red Bull makes me very proud of my team and I’m very grateful to them for the hard work they’ve put in to keep on moving us forward. The race pace generally was quite good, but we were offset on tyres for most of the race. Maybe we should have started on the soft, but obviously we went for the medium, then took the hard to make the one stop work; it looked pretty good on the first stint, but then the Red Bull was just too quick for us – and had the better tyre strategy today as well. Congratulations to Max on his win and it feels great to be back up on the podium here in Mexico. We’re getting closer to the front, and we will continue to push. The last couple of races, we’ve taken a big step forward with the car and I hope we will continue like this for the final two.
I had a good start but lost two positions in the first lap and our strategy with medium - hard was not the right one in hindsight. I couldn’t get the hard tyre working as there was just no grip. Red Bull and Ferrari both started on the softs and we need to understand why the other teams opted for the soft as that looked like the right strategy for this race. So that’s clearly our learning for today, as we might have been able to get closer, being on the same strategy. Nevertheless, as a team we’re making progress and I’m very happy about that. I’m intrigued to see how Brazil goes, although I don’t think we will be quite as competitive as in Mexico, but still a huge positive takeaway from this weekend and a great job by the whole team.
Lewis and George did an amazing job today. We discussed whether the soft-hard was a viable strategy, but we didn’t really have the soft-medium strategy on our radar going into the race. So, we just got it wrong today in hindsight, but we still showed strong performance and secured valuable points. Our performance gap to Red Bull today was small, and we had a good margin to Ferrari - however, we need to be careful about jumping to quick conclusions about the latter and wait to see what happens in Brazil. Our goals are still to win a race and fight for second in the constructors’ championship: we want to demonstrate that our car is fast and the whole team put just so much work into upgrading the car, it would be fantastic for them if we can make it happen for one of the last two remaining races this year.
It’s a peculiar mix of emotions after a weekend like this; we are demonstrating progress with the car and the update that we brought to Austin has clearly delivered a good step in performance. The team in Brixworth can also be very satisfied with the work they had done preparing and optimising the power unit for what is a very difficult track, given the altitude; this has been one of our strongest performances of the season, so it’s clear that they have done a great job on that side. We also can’t fault the commitment of the drivers and the whole team towards the end of what has been a very long and very tough season, even when giving everything each weekend still isn’t quite enough to deliver a win. If we could run the race again, we’d have started on the soft tyre; we knew that a soft-medium one stop was a possibility, but we did not expect it to be quite so comfortable. Our strategy relied on their mediums dropping towards the end of the race, but that simply didn’t happen. On a positive note, we have closed the gap to Ferrari, and we’ll keep chasing them until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi. So, we have two races to go, a few days to regroup before the sprint race in Brazil, and still plenty to work for.