Verstappen puts frustration behind him to win in Mexico
Max Verstappen admitted he barely slept due because of the anger of missing out on pole position on Saturday night, but he showed no signs of tiredness as he romped to victory at the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Dutchman has just 21 days to secure a pole position to become the sport's youngest ever pole sitter, and Mexico is likely to be Red Bull Racing's best opportunity to lead the field - as it so proved. However for Verstappen, it was the wrong RB14 topping the timesheets on Saturday, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo claiming his third career pole.
But a clean launch off the line saw Verstappen take the lead into Turn 1, and from there, he never looked back. While Sebastian Vettel threatened to come close before the second round of pit-stops, Red Bull were able to turn the engine settings down - a precaution after Daniel Ricciardo suffered another mechanical retirement while running second - as Verstappen made light work of his second consecutive win in Mexico City.
“Yesterday I was very frustrated and disappointed but today I am really happy, and Sunday is the best day to be happy," said Verstappen. "I didn’t sleep much last night and found today’s race build up a long one, but after the lights went out my feelings soon changed.
"When I saw Daniel pull over I asked the Team if they should turn my engine down as I already had such an advantage, I wanted to be sure we made it to the chequered flag. It was such a shame as we were definitely on for at least a double podium, if not a one, two. The podium, like last year is amazing."
For Ricciardo, it was yet more frustration as another hydraulic failure caused his car to park up early - his fifth retirement in nine races. Ricciardo leaves Red Bull at the end of the season destined for Renault.
He said: “I saw pass fail on my dash which I guess was some sort of hydraulic failure and I was forced to retire immediately.
"There hasn’t been a clean weekend for so long due to many different reasons and it’s breaking my heart. Deflated comes to mind but this feels deeper than that.
"I don’t want to end it like this and I know nobody is doing it deliberately but I just can’t seem to catch a break and a double podium for the Team today was exactly what we all wanted. I’m a very positive guy and I will probably still wake up tomorrow with some sort of positivity.”