Lewis Hamilton is one step closer to his sixth Formula 1 title after taking out the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, as Daniel Ricciardo once again finished inside the points.
In a thrilling race ultimately decided by a variety of strong race strategies, Hamilton crossed the line first ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas – who bounced back perfectly after crashing in qualifying.
With his normal engineer Pete ‘Bono’ Bonnington absent from the event due to health reasons, Hamilton dedicated the victory to him and lauded the strategy of his team.
“Today’s an incredible result. I have to say a huge thanks to our team, Mercedes and our partners today, “ Hamilton said.
“The guys have continued to work incredibly hard, stayed focused, we came here thinking we were on the back foot, knowing it was a difficult race for us.
“But we pulled through. I had quite a bit of damage on the car so the race was quite a bit of a struggle. Kept my head down. It felt like a long second stint. Oh man, I’m so grateful for today.
“Of course I wanted to dedicate this win to Bono because he’s going through - it’s not been the easiest of times. I love the dude. We’ve come a long way together, and I wanted to make him proud this weekend.”
As for Ricciardo, the West Australian started the race in 13th place but slowly worked his way up the field after having the longest first stint on any driver and staying on the hard compound tyres.
Despite his good work, Ricciardo was unable to pass a stubborn Sergio Perez in seventh and settled for a well deserved eighth place, two places ahead of Renault teammate Niko Hulkenberg.
"It’s good to be in the points,” Ricciardo said.
“I could have got more if I had passed Perez but I just couldn’t make it stick. I sent it into turn one, maybe a little late and the postman wasn’t there.
“We made a really strong start on the Hard tyre and that set us up for the rest of the race. It’s a solid day with both cars back in the points.
“It’s been a tough week for the team, so I’m proud of them and how they’ve kept their spirits high. We regrouped quickly and we can be pleased with that, but now we have to move on and keep it up.”
It’s back-to-back events for Formula 1 crews as the championship heads north to the United States, with Hamilton made to wait for his sixth championship after Bottas’ result kept the title race going for one week longer.
The United States Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit of the Americas on 3 November, with an early start for Australian fans of 6:10am on 4 November AEDT.