Verstappen sets F1 season wins record

Red Bull's double world champion Max Verstappen has set a Formula One record of 14 victories from a single season, as well as the most points scored, by triumphing in the Mexican Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old Dutch driver led from pole position at Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday, stopping on lap 26 of 71 to switch from soft to medium tyres and taking the chequered flag 15.186 seconds clear of Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton.

"It's been an incredible year so far, we are definitely enjoying it and we'll try to go for more," said Verstappen, who clinched his second world title in Japan on October 9 and had an untroubled afternoon.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez finished third in front of his cheering home crowd after a race that was low on thrills and all about tyre strategy.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo put on the show of the day, reeling off overtakes on the soft tyres and finishing seventh for McLaren despite a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda.

Verstappen's win was his fourth in Mexico and the podium was the same as last year.

In Austin, Texas, last weekend he had pulled level with German champions Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013) on 13 wins in a season.

There are more races now than then, however, with the 2022 season featuring 22 compared to 19 in 2013 and 18 in 2004.

Verstappen also took his points tally to 416 - 136 more than Perez who moved up to second overall and three more than the previous record set by Hamilton in 2019.

It was also a ninth win in a row and 16th from 20 races for Red Bull, who wrapped up the constructors' title in Texas with three rounds to spare, but Mercedes showed they were getting closer.

"I was so close in that first stint but I think the Red Bull was clearly too fast today and ultimately, maybe they had the better tyre strategy," said Hamilton, who felt he should have started on softs instead of mediums before switching to hards.

Hamilton's teammate George Russell finished fourth after losing out at the start.

Both Mercedes drivers complained about the strategy but were assured from the pit wall that Red Bull's medium tyres would lose performance - a hope that proved to be optimistic.

The race was already a four-driver battle after 20 of the 71 laps, with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finishing fifth and sixth but far off the pace and the latter close to being lapped.

"This weekend we were just slow," said Sainz, who finished 58 seconds behind Verstappen.