Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished in first place at the Mexican Grand Prix to claim his record 14th victory of the season on Sunday.
The 25-year-old’s 14th win of the season sees him pass Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for the most wins in a single season in Formula One history.
In early October, Verstappen claimed the second world championship of his career at the Japanese Grand Prix, and last week he won the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, where he shared the record for number of race victories in the season.
With his victory in Mexico, Verstappen also broke the record for most points accumulated in a single season, previously set by Lewis Hamilton in 2019.
The records confirm Verstappen’s dominance this season. After an inauspicious start in Bahrain in March, he has won race after race, handily beating an early challenge from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Speaking after Sunday’s race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City, Verstappen had hoped for more success.
“An incredible result. It’s been an amazing year so far. We are definitely enjoying it and we will try to go for more”, said the Dutch driver.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished in second place, some 15 seconds behind the Dutchman, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in third.
Verstappen started on pole and pulled away, while Hamilton behind him passed teammate George Russell.
The two teams started on different tyres: Mercedes on the medium hoping to challenge the Dutchman’s dominance with Red Bull on the softs, and for a while the cars were even.
Red Bull pitted their drivers first, opting for medium tyres, while Hamilton fitted hard tires so as not to have to pit again.
Ultimately, Mercedes’ strategy didn’t pay off, as Hamilton only got to watch Verstappen increase his lead, with team boss Toto Wolff later acknowledging on the radio that “maybe it wasn’t the right tire choice.” “, according to the BBC.
But for all the achievements of Verstappen and Red Bull this year, there was a shadow cast over the team on Sunday after it was penalized for a budget cap violation last year.
Red Bull Racing (RBR) and the FIA have agreed to an Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) over the team’s breach of F1’s cost cap rules in 2021, the sport’s governing body announced on Friday.
RBR was found to have breached the cost cap by £432,652 ($501,409).
The punishment amounts to a $7 million fine, a 10% reduction in RBR’s aerodynamic test cost caps for the coming year, and liability for costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration, which was responsible for investigating the violation. .
In the FIA statement, Cost Cap Management noted that RBR “acted cooperatively throughout the review process” and that “there is no allegation or evidence that RBR ever attempted to act in bad faith.”
“The most draconian part is the sporting penalty, which is a 10% reduction in our ability to use our wind tunnel and aero tools,” team boss Christian Horner said at a news conference, according to ESPN.
“That represents between 0.25 seconds and 0.5 seconds of lap time. That comes from now, it has a direct effect on next year’s car and it will be in effect for a period of 12 months.
There are two races left on the F1 calendar for Verstappen to add to his record tally with the Brazilian Grand Prix scheduled for November 13 and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 20.