After falling behind Sebastian Vettel for the first 5 laps, Lewis Hamilton made a quick pass and never looked back to take his 9th victory of the season and the 62d victory of his career to put himself 66 points ahead of Vettel in the championship standings. Vettel did keep his title hopes alive by putting his Ferrari on the second step of the podium but Hamilton need only to finish at least 5th in Mexico to clinch the title. Max Verstappen made a brilliant overtake on Kimi Raikkonen in turn 17 of the final lap to take 3rd from 16th but had it quickly snatched away by the stewards who deemed the pass illegal as he “left the track to gain an advantage”. Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Verstappen himeslef rued the decision with Max stating:
“I had a good fight with Bottas where he ran off track, came back on in front of me and I had to overtake him afterwards but there are no penalties given. Be clear about it, If you say we have to stay between the white lines, we’ll stay within the white lines. It’s very simple. We need more consistency. At the end of the day let us race – it’s 5cm over.”
Horner agreed with his newly-extended driver:
“For me it was hard, fair racing,” he said. That’s bad judgement from the stewards to have made that call. [Max] did it the hard way – we’ve seen cars off track all day today, all weekend. To penalise him at this stage, that’s not right.”
The stewards awarded a 5 second penalty which gave Ferrari a double podium; their fourth this season and first at the Circuit of the Americas.
Down the grid, Carlos Sainz put on a show in his first race inside of a Renault, coming in 7th while fighting Esteban Ocon for 6th most of the second half and putting Renault ahead of Haas in the Constructors Championship, 5 points behind Toro Rosso.
Daniel Ricciardo suffered an engine failure coming out of turn 12 to end his day early, later to be joined by Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton’s win and Bottas’ 5th were enough to secure a fourth straight Constructors trophy for the Silver Arrows.