Verstappen equals Prost with 51st F1 win in Mexico

Max Verstappen equalled Alain Prost on 51 wins after a superb drive to victory at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

The Dutchman took his 16th win of the season, breaking his own record he set in 2022.

Charles Leclerc started on pole position for Ferrari with his teammate Carlos Sainz alongside him in second place.

The pole sitter stuttered off the line as Verstappen, starting in third place, launched through the middle of the Ferrari before Turn 1.

A wave of agony flooded the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as Sergio Perez clattered into Leclerc at the first corner and retired from his home event.

Verstappen enjoyed a dream start and led after the first lap, with Leclerc, who was nursing front wing damage, in second.

Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourth on Saturday and avoided the carnage at the start to remain in P4 for AlphaTauri, resisting pressure from Lewis Hamilton.

Lando Norris started in P17 after a disappointing qualifying for the McLaren driver and began to pick his way through the field.

Verstappen continued to lead ahead of the two Ferraris as the race progressed. Hamilton struggled to pass Ricciardo and eventually muscled his way past the Australian into Turn 1.

Halfway through the race. Kevin Magnussen crashed and retired from the race; the red flags were deployed to repair the barrier and transparent the Dane’s Haas VF-23.

After a lengthy delay, the 71-lap event got underway with Verstappen on pole ahead of Leclerc and Hamilton.

The race leader perfected the standing start and led comfortably, with his nearest challengers remaining the same.

Mercedes went aggressive with the tyre strategy, putting Hamilton on the medium tyres while Ferrari stuck with the less grippy hard tyres.

The British driver tried every trick in the book to pass Leclerc for second place and used all his experience to get past the Monegasque as the local crowd filtered out of the circuit.

Verstappen went on to take a comfortable victory, his fourth in Mexico, ahead of Leclerc and Hamilton.

Formula 1 heads to Brazil in a week for the final Sprint weekend of the year.