Nico Rosberg earned slight consolation after finishing second best to repeat Formula One driver’s champion Lewis Hamilton. The German took the checkered flag in a renewed edition of the Mexico Grand Prix.
It had been 23 years since Formula One had come to Mexico, and although the 2015 titles have already been decided, racing fans packed the stands for the third-to-last race of the season.
Nico Rosberg started in pole position ahead of Mercedes teammate and 2015 drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton. As has so often been the case, Hamilton attacked going into the first turn, but this time the German managed to rescue his advantage.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was in trouble right from the get-go with puncture to his rear right tire. That dropped him down to last place, and he eventually retired in frustration after a crash on lap 53, having clawed his way back into fourth spot.
Vettel’s teammate Kimi Räikkönen also retired. It was the first time since 2006 that both Ferrari drivers failed to finish a Grand prix.
Meanwhile, Rosberg slowly but surely increased his lead over Hamilton, but the Briton cut into the German’s advantage after a quicker pit stop to change tires.
On lap 48 Rosberg pitted again for a new set of tires, and Hamilton eventually followed, but not happily. The champion repeatedly asked why he was ordered in and seemed unsatisfied with the answers.
Rosberg briefly left the circuit on lap 59 in what looked like a repeat of the mistake he made in his last race, but Hamilton had a similar wobble, and there was no further passing at the front.
Rosberg took the checkered flag to notch his fourth race win of the season and move ahead of Vettel into second place in the overall standings. Hamilton had to settle for runner-up status for a change, and Valtteri Bottas of Williams was third.
Mexican driver Sergio Pérez of Force India finished eighth, giving home fans something to cheer.
The next race is the Grand Prix of Brazil on 15 November.