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Verstappen seeks Formula One record to extend Mexico dominance

By Joshua Challies

Mexico City, Oct. 26: Max Verstappen has seen numerous records fall his way this season and one of the most illustrious is up for grabs this weekend in Mexico, where a victory would take him to 14 for the season.

Such a win would see him become the driver to have won the most races in a single season, having joined Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel on 13 with his success in the United States.

That triumph was his ninth this season without starting in pole, surpassing Lewis Hamilton (eight) for the most such wins in a single campaign, and will be full of confidence given a stellar record in Mexico - where he has prevailed three times (2018, 2019, 2021). Verstappen and Jim Clark share the record for the most Mexican Grand Prix wins.

Red Bull also have a team record in their sight, having now won eight races in a row to stand one shy of the nine victories in a row they secured in 2013, which is the sixth-longest winning streak for a team in F1 history.

While Verstappen and Red Bull are in search of further records, Lewis Hamilton is looking to avoid one as he is still in search of his first victory in 2022 and the Mercedes driver was strong in the United States.

The British driver has never finished a Formula One season in his career without a race win and has just three grands prix to ensure that this is not the year when he stands winless for the first time.

Much of the attention will continue to be off the track, however, with Red Bull's cost-cap breach in 2021 yet to be resolved and dominating the discussions, though a final outcome should be right around the corner.

Pole variety

The Mexican Grand Prix has seen 10 different racers on pole position in the last 10 editions, a record that will almost certainly be extended after qualifying on Saturday as 2021 pole sitter Valtteri Bottas is now at Alfa Romeo.

The last driver to win consecutive pole positions in this race was Ayrton Senna in 1988 and 1989.

Leclerc's late change

Charles Leclerc was Max Verstappen's biggest threat early in the season but a plethora of problems derailed the title ambitions of the Ferrari driver, with mistakes, bad luck and mechanical issues all plaguing his performances.

Some consistency has been found recently, however, with Leclerc finishing on the podium in each of his last five Formula One races – his longest such run in his career.

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Story first published: Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 21:16 [IST]
Other articles published on Oct 26, 2022