Mercedes had hoped that Lewis Hamilton would be able to cut or at least maintain his 12-point lead over leader Max Verstappen by starting first and second, but things went horribly wrong from the start.
When Bottas, who started in pole position, offed to the extreme right at the start, Verstappen took the space generously offered to him and stormed past the two Mercedes men at corner one to go into the lead.
The Dutchman gradually increased his lead and won the Mexican Grand Prix by 16 seconds over second place for the night and in the standings, Hamilton.The win saw Verstappen extend his championship lead to 19 points.
Toto Wolff was dissatisfied by the loss, blaming Bottas for allowing their rival to take an initial lead, and was annoyed that the Finn couldn’t even hold on for a top five finish. “We had two cars in front and seemed to open up the sea for Max…it could have been a third or fourth place. It is annoying…” Toto said about Valtteri’s 15th place finish.
Despite his annoyance at his driver’s poor start, though, Toto admitted that Red Bull were too fast for his men to catch up, and they would have still won. “I don’t think we could have won the race even if we had stayed ahead in the first corner…”
Toto, who said Valterri’s mistake caused Mercedes pain, accepted the result though. “It was worse than we had hoped for, but we have to take it on the chin,” he stated.