Sky F1’s Martin Brundle reflects on the Mexican Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari and the 2018 Formula One championship, ahead of the last two races:
“During the early to mid part of the season, the Ferrari had the faster car and Vettel, in particular, made the most of it. On other days. such as Austria, Monaco and Mexico, Red Bull had the best car, also winning the crazy China race. They could well have won Baku too without taking each other out.
Hamilton’s skill was to make fewer errors than Vettel and to minimise his losses while Ferrari and Red Bull were just plain faster. A good example would be Germany where he started 14th and won after Vettel slid off. Also a stunning qualifying lap and victory in Singapore, where the team were expected to struggle. Vettel bloodied Hamilton’s nose at the British GP and he returned the compliment in Germany as the Ferrari driver’s season began to fall apart with too much contact with other cars.
In 19 races Hamilton’s had nine victories and 15 podiums including one retirement in Austria. A great credit to the team and him.
If you simply looked at the results sheet in Mexico, it would appear to have been a very boring race, Verstappen won by 17 seconds over Vettel, and Raikkonen came in third 50 seconds adrift, and the last unlapped runner was the new world champion 78 seconds behind. Bottas’ Mercedes was lapped, and every one of the remaining 11 runners were lapped twice, except Grosjean who was lapped three times. Sounds dull but it wasn’t, and the midfield seemed bunched up the whole race such that Ricciardo lost out to Vettel trying to navigate around the lapped runners.
We saw some good wheel-to-wheel combat not least between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, and generally more than enough action and jeopardy for the result sheet to poorly reflect reality. Both Ferraris finished ahead of both tyre-hungry Mercedes, and so the Constructors’ Championship now shows Merc 55 ahead with 86 available for the last two races. Mercedes should take that for a clean hybrid-era sweep but it’ll be nervy.
Brazil can be a crazy race so we’ll see what that offers up.”