Mexican GP 2016: Hamilton does the double - as it happened

Mexican GP 2016: Hamilton does the double - as it happened

James Eagles
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What an incredible ending to a race that only sparkled and glistened in parts. We've had just about everything. Attrition, a fantastic crowd, blue language, bold moves, interesting interpretations of track limits, penalties and a flashback to the Belgian Grand Prix of 1998 - with a very angry German driver. Just without the torrential rain.

So the podium is settled, Hamilton stands atop it and Vettel is Driver of the Day. Sit tight for my race report which is imminent. But thank you for joining me live, I've been James Eagles. We'll do this again in Brazil, I think. Don't you?

After that fiesta, I need a siesta.

This is odd.


1. Hamilton
2. Rosberg
3. Vettel
4. Ricciardo
5. Verstappen
6. Raikkonen
7. Hulkenberg
8. Bottas
9. Massa
10. Perez

Verstappen has been told he's been given a five second penalty. Vettel makes the podium. I hope they don't cross each other's paths.

Vettel has lost it. Over the line he's told that there's no action to be taken on Verstappen and unleashes:

"Here's my message to Charlie: F**K OFF! OK? F**K OFF!"

CHEQUERED FLAG: Lewis Hamilton takes his 51st Grand Prix victory, making it a clean sweep in North America. The gap is down to 19 points. He also equals Alain Prost's race victory toal.

Rosberg is second, Verstappen keeps third.

FINAL LAP: Hamilton starts his 71st and last lap of the race.

L70: "Can't you see? He's backing me into Ricciardo!"

Right on cue, Ricciardo has a dive and they so nearly touch at Turn 4.

L69: "MOVE! MOVE!"

"He's a ****, that's what he is."

Seb's staying 'calm'.

L69: Ricciardo is reeling the both of them in.


L69: Vettel pleads: "He has to let me go! He has to let me go!"

L68: Verstappen is told by Gianpiero Lambiase to give the place up.

L68: Verstappen goes deep into Turn 1 and misses Turn 2, he rejoins ahead of Vettel, but the German isn't close enough!

L68: Hulkenberg and Raikkonen come together, and the German spins. He keeps the engine running.

L61: Button passes a car on the straight!

It's Jo Palmer.

L57: Hamilton is steadily inching out the gap to Rosberg. It stands at 7.253 seconds with 15 laps to go.

L56: Here comes the weekly Vettel traffic moan:

"What's wrong? Get out of the way. It's easy!"

No "BLUE FLAG!" or "Honestly!" though.

L56: Kvyat is given a five second penalty. Not a great day for Toro Rosso.

L54: Ricciardo sets the fastest lap with a 1:21.134.

L54: Kvyat's near miss with Grosjean is under investiagtion.

L51: Ricciardo pits. Rejoins in 6th. Just ahead of Raikkonen.

L50: Verstappen throws his car down the inside of Rosberg, but can't make it stick out of Turn 4. Incredible effort.

L50: "Okay, rear left is taking a hit." 

Ricciardo is struggling.

L49: "Front right brake isn't working anymore. What's happened?" Grosjean has more brake problems this year.

L49: Raikkonen better it with a 1:22.512.

L48: Vettel sets a new fastest lap with a 1:22.659.

L46: Raikkonen comes in for his second stop. For another set of mediums. Bizarre given his earlier complaint.

L40: Perez has another go at Massa into Turn 1. No good.

L40: Serena Williams looks enthralled.

L39: Verstappen is hovering around the one second mark to Rosberg.

L35: Hamilton has kept the gap to Rosberg at around 4.5 seconds.

L33: Kimi complains: "The grip on these [mediums] is very poor".

L33: He rejoins behind Raikkonen, in sixth. He's also on the mediums.

L32: And he obliges.

L32: Vettel is told again to pit.

L30: Perez has a look at Massa again into Turn 1, but he's too far back.

L30: Vettel gets the call to pit. But he's gone past the pits.

L28: Perez is frustrated

"Why did you box me so late, man? We have to do something, its difficult".

L28: Vettel stays out, having found some pace in his ageing softs.

L25: Perez dives down the inside of Massa but fails to make the corner and cedes time in doing so. There was a roar of approval from the crowd.

L22: Ricciardo lets Verstappen through.

L21: In comes Rosberg, and crucially he makes it out ahead of Ricciardo.

L18: Good stop, he's on to the mediums.

L17: Mercedes are out in the pitlane for Hamilton. In he comes.

L16: "Okay Fernando, keep pushing".

"I'm pushing since lap one. I've had traffic for 15 laps, the car should not be in the race."

I'll do my job, you do yours, my friend".


L15: The gap between Hamilton and Rosberg stands at 4.863 seconds.

Sainz gets a  five second penalty for forcing Alonso off the road.

L14: No further action warrented on the Ericsson/Wehrlein/Gutierrez debacle.

L13: Vettel is hunting down Massa, almost running into the back of him.

L13: Verstappen pits for mediums as well. Both Red Bulls are playing the long game.

Sainz copies.

L12: Grosjean pits for medium tyres.

L12: Vettel's woes continue, unable to make any progress.

L11: Alonso and Sainz are also under investigation for causing a collision. Several rebels out on the track it seems.

L10: Gutierrez is under investigation for his part in the Wehrlein/Ericsson clash.

L10: He doesn't hang about this boy, does he? Magnussen dispatched at Turn 1. The Australian's favourite passing place.

L9: Simon Rennie informs Ricciardo: "We need to clear Magnussen. He's on his own, he's vulnerable".

L9: Ricciardo's fightback continues, as he passes Button at Turn 1.

L8: No further action between Rosberg and Verstappen.

L7: Ricciardo passes Gutierrez for 14th.

L6: The incident between Rosberg and Verstappen at the start is under investigation.

L6: Hamilton sets the pace with a 1:23.045.

L5: Button has a look at Magnussen around the outside of Turn 1 for 12th, but the Dane shuts the door. Gutierrez lurks behind.

L4: Sainz radio: "The gearbox is failing". Can't see him holding onto his 10th place for long.

L4: We're racing!

L4: The Safety Car is to return into the pits this lap.

L4: As it stands, the order is as follows:

Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Massa, Vettel, Bottas, Perez, Sainz

L1: It has been upgraded to a Safety Car. Ricciardo comes in for a set of mediums.

L1: The VSC is deployed.

LIGHTS OUT: Hamilton gets a poor start but stays ahead of Rosberg. He locks up into Turn 1 and misses the corner, cutting across the grass. Rosberg followed him. Vettel has a puncture, Wehrlein and Ericsson are out, it's chaos!

Romain Grosjean will start from the pitlane, due to a floor change overnight.

And the Constructors' standings.


Position Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 636
2 Red Bull Racing 400
3 Ferrari 347
4 Force India 138
5 Williams 130

Let's have a reminder of the Drivers' Championship.


Position Driver Constructor Points
1 Nico ROSBERG Mercedes 331
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 305
3 Daniel RICCIARDO Red Bull 227
4 Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari 177
5 Kimi RAIKKONEN Ferrari 170

Welcome back to LIVE coverage of the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix, from a sunshine-laden Autodrome Hermanos Rodriguez. I'm James Eagles, and we've five minutes to go until the formation lap gets us underway.

Last year's Mexican Grand Prix saw the return of Formula 1 to this motorsport mad country, at the refurbished Hermanos Rodriguez. The final corner, the Peraltada may not quite be as feared as it once was, but the rest of the 17 turns still pose just as much of a challenge to the drivers as it did back in 1992. The iconic sight of last year's event was the podium, tucked inside the impressive facade of the baseball stadium, a sight to behold when home heroes Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez pass through the vicinity. Who'll don the novel, Pirelli sombrero on the top step of the podium tonight? Not long to wait, join me at 6:45pm for the continuation of live updates. You won't want to miss it.

A reminder of what happened in Austin one week ago - Lewis Hamilton took his fifth career win in America, and is looking to complete a hattrick of North American wins in 2016, and can afford to do little other than take the flag first - unless Rosberg runs into trouble. Rosberg took the win in Mexico's return race after 23 years last year, but by then, Hamilton had secured his third world title. All to play for tonight.

Here's Jake Nichol's Qualifying report. With the gap between Nico Rosberg and the chasing Lewis Hamilton - who's sitting on pole this evening - stands at 26 points. A Rosberg win with Hamilton finishing 10th or lower, or failing to go the distance today, then's it's game, set and Drivers' Championship to the German. But, with several cars looking fiesty this weekend, Ferrari in particular - after their second annus horribilis in three years - Mercedes have their work cut out in getting a victory. Look out for the racy Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in the two Red Bulls, starting from the second row.

An illustrious list of previous winners.


Year Driver Constructor
2015 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
1992 Nigel Mansell Williams
1991 Riccardo Patrese Williams
1990 Alain Prost Ferrari
1989 Ayrton Senna McLaren
1988 Alain Prost McLaren
1987 Nigel Mansell Williams
1986 Gerhard Berger Benetton
1970 Jacky Ickx Ferrari
1969 Denny Hulme McLaren

Welcome to VAVEL's live coverage of the 2016 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico, I'm your correspondent James Eagles. I'll be guiding you through all the events of this evening's Grand Prix from the reshaped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, in Mexico City.