CAROL’S CORNER: Lewis Hamilton puts up a fight in Mexico!

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

By Carol M. Creasey

The world of Formula One has been rocked by stories about Red Bull breaching the cost cap for 2021.

The exact amount that they overspent was revealed to be around £1.8 million, which was initially denied by Christian Horner, but after a great deal of negotiating with the FIA he did accept the team’s wrongdoing. The punishment was a fine of £7 million and a reduction of 10 per cent aero testing time in 2023.

There had been calls for the FIA to come down heavily for the obvious advantage they have had by overspending, and many people have expressed disappointment that the penalty wasn’t harsher, to act as a deterrent in future years. With the Red Bull car so dominant, it’s clear that the frequent updates it had last season have contributed to winning the drivers’ championship in both years, which the other teams are not happy about. The fact that they overspent will always leave a question mark over their success.

After taking a very respectable second place finish in the USA last week, Sir Lewis Hamilton set his sights on trying to get his first win of the season in Mexico. It was looking promising for him in qualifying, he led the times in Q1 and Q2, but in Q3 he had his original lap time deleted, had to pit for drivability issues, and then he wasn’t able to bear Max Verstappen for pole in his final flying lap. This left him in P3, with George Russell in P2.

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The Briton aced his start, passing Russell, who could not prevent Sergio Perez from overtaking him. Verstappen led on soft tyres, and for the first part of the race Lewis managed to stay within 1.5 second on his mediums. But when he went in for tyres, he was given the hards, which were not fast enough against the medium tyres of Verstappen. It wasn’t just the tyres, but the sheer dominance of the Red Bull which made his task much harder.

He did manage to hold off Perez, and finish second again, Russell was 4th, and also took fastest lap. Sir Lewis was in good spirits when interviewed afterwards, complimenting his team for all their hard work in improving the car. He has now moved up to 5th place in the drivers’ championship, having overtaken Carlos Sainz. Considering how fast the Ferrari has been all season, this is very encouraging for him.

He now has just two more races left to try and get a win this year, but even without it, he is very motivated to try and fight for another title next year. Mercedes fans will be hoping that next year the team will produce a car that can make this possible.

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