Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished in first place at the Mexican Grand Prix to claim his record-setting 14th win of the season on Sunday.
The 25-year-old’s 14th victory of the season sees him pass Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for the most race wins in a single season in Formula One history.
Earlier in October, Verstappen claimed his second career world championship at the Japanese Grand Prix, and last week he won the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, which saw him share the record for number of season race wins.
With his victory in Mexico, Verstappen also broke the record for the most points accumulated in a single season, previously set by Lewis Hamilton in 2019.
The records confirm Verstappen’s dominance this season. After an inauspicious start in Bahrain back in March, he has won race after race, comfortably seeing off an early challenge from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Speaking after Sunday’s race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City, Mexico, Verstappen looked forward to more success.
“An incredible result. It’s been an incredible year so far. We’re definitely enjoying it and we’ll try to go for more,” the Dutch driver said.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished in second place, some 15 seconds behind the Dutchman, and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez came in third.
Verstappen started on pole and glided away, while Hamilton behind him overtook teammate George Russell.
The two teams began on different tires – Mercedes on the mediums in the hope of challenging the Dutchman’s dominance with Red Bull on the softs – and for a while the cars were evenly matched.
Red Bull pitted their drivers first, opting for medium tires while Hamilton fitted hard tires so that he would not have to pit again.
Ultimately, Mercedes’ strategy did not pay off as Hamilton could only watch Verstappen increase his lead, and team boss Toto Wolff later acknowledged over the radio that it was “maybe not the right tire choice,” according to the BBC.
But for all of Verstappen and Red Bull’s achievements this year, there was a shadow cast over the team on Sunday after it was sanctioned for a budget cap breach last year.
Red Bull Racing (RBR) and the FIA agreed an Accepted Breach Agreement (ABA) for the team’s breaking of F1’s cost cap rules in 2021, the sport’s governing body announced on Friday.
RBR were found to have breached the cost cap by £432,652 ($501,409).
The punishment amounts to a fine of $7 million, a 10% reduction in cost limits for RBR’s aerodynamic testing for next year, and responsibility for the costs incurred by the Cost Cap Administration, who were responsible for investigating the breach.
In the FIA statement, the Cost Cap Administration noted that RBR “acted cooperatively throughout the review process” and that “there is no accusation or evidence that RBR has sought at any time to act in bad faith.”
“The more draconian part is the sporting penalty, which is a 10% reduction on our ability to utilise our wind tunnel and aerodynamic tools,” team boss Christian Horner said in a press conference, according to ESPN.
“That represents anywhere between 0.25 seconds and 0.5 seconds of lap time. That comes in from now, it has a direct effect on next year’s car and it will be in place for a 12-month period.”
Two races remain on the F1 calendar for Verstappen to add to his record tally with the Brazilian Grand Prix scheduled on November 13 and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 20.