Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in the United States last week means Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel is still in with a chance of claiming the Drivers’ Championship, theoretically at least.
It was certainly a bad day at the office for the German’s rival Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team but a third-place finish means the Brit is just a mere five points away from clinching F1’s top prize.
Having been a short-priced favourite last week, Hamilton is 7/4 to win the Mexico Grand Prix for a second time, with Vettel the 29/20 favourite despite him making yet another mental error when chasing down the Mercedes flyer in Austin.
Hamilton won the title at last year’s Mexico GP but did so coming home ninth and he may have to settle for a similar result upon his return to Mexico City.
The biggest takeaway from last week’s race in Austin was the diminishing power advantage Mercedes now enjoy over their nearest rivals. Ferrari have closed the gap, while Red Bull’s Verstappen was able to keep Hamilton at bay in the battle for second in the US.
Having recorded his fourth podium in the last six races, despite a starting position of 18th in the US, Verstappen now heads to the sight of his third career win.
The Dutchman was quick around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez all weekend last year, narrowly missing out on pole before eventually winning the race by over 19 seconds from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Given his recent form and closing of the gap to Mercedes, it is entirely feasible Verstappen takes the chequered flag in Mexico City.
What a return to form it was for Raikkonen last week, with the Finn driving superbly to clinch his first Grand Prix victory since the start of the 2013 season.
Having looked thoroughly disinterested in the weeks before, after confirmation of his departure from Ferrari, it could be that Raikkonen is planning a big finish to his stint with the Scuderia.
The former world champion is currently third in the drivers’ standings having finished on the podium 10 times already this season, and he came home third in last year’s Mexico Grand Prix.
With Ferrari having found some extra pace in the United States and team-mate Vettel struggling, Raikkonen could well be the best finishing Ferrari driver for the third race in succession.
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