Max Verstappen clinches best Formula 1 season ever with Mexico City Grand Prix win

Verstappen set two records for domination with his easy win

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 29: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 29, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen has won 16 of 19 Formula 1 races so far in 2023. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Max Verstappen is officially having the most dominant season in Formula 1 history.

Verstappen cruised to a win in the Mexico City Grand Prix for his 16th victory over the first 19 races of the season. The win breaks the record Verstappen set in 2022 for the most Grand Prix wins in a single season and ensures that he will end the 2023 season with the best single-season winning percentage of any driver in Formula 1 history.

Michael Schumacher previously held the win percentage record with 13 wins in 18 starts over the 2004 season. Schumacher won 72.2% of races that season. Even if Verstappen fails to win any of the final three races of this season, he’ll end the year with a win percentage of 72.7%.

The 2023 F1 champ got the lead from third heading into the first corner of the race and then had to retain it on a standing start on lap 36. The race was red-flagged on lap 35 of 71 after a massive crash by Kevin Magnussen required lengthy repairs to the foam barriers he hit.

Verstappen easily kept first on the restart of the race as Charles Leclerc was left to defend against Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time champion finished second after he got past Leclerc but no one had anything for Verstappen and his Red Bull.

Leclerc finished third ahead of his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz in fourth. Lando Norris made an incredible drive to finish fifth after starting 18th.

Sergio Perez crashes out in the first turn

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez started fifth and tried to have the lead through Turn 1 at his home Grand Prix.

He instead found himself out of the race after his car popped into the air after he collided with Leclerc.

Perez went three-wide on the outside of Verstappen and Leclerc and made contact with the Ferrari as he aggressively tried to turn to the right into the corner. The contact damaged Perez’s car enough that he was forced to retire the car after completing just a single lap.

Perez’s DNF means that Hamilton is once again 19 points back of Perez for second in the standings with three races to go. Hamilton entered the race 37 points back after he was disqualified for a floor plank violation following a second-place finish to Verstappen at the United States Grand Prix.

With the way that Hamilton and Perez’s seasons are trending, Perez is in danger of falling to third in the standings. Since finishing second at Monza, Perez has finished eighth, 19th, 10th, fourth and last. Hamilton, meanwhile has three top-five finishes in that span and had a fourth taken away because of the disqualification.

Mexico City Grand Prix results

1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

4. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

5. Lando Norris, McLaren

6. George Russell, Mercedes

7. Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

8. Oscar Piastri, McLaren

9. Alex Albon, Williams

10. Esteban Ocon, Alpine

11. Pierre Gasly, Alpine

12. Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

13. Logan Sargeant, Williams

14. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

15. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

16. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

Not Classified: Lance Stroll, Aston Martin; Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin; Kevin Magnussen, Haas; Sergio Perez, Red Bull