211108 Verstappen
Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City on November 7, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Mexico City: Max Verstappen cruised to victory in the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday as his closest challenger in the title race, Lewis Hamilton clung on to finish second.

The Dutch Red Bull driver overtook reigning champion Hamilton and the second Mercedes driven by pole-sitting Valtteri Bottas on the first corner and sped away.

Hamilton ended the race battling to hold off Mexican driver Sergio Perez who finished third in the other Red Bull to the delight of the huge crowd.

“Their car is far superior this weekend and there was nothing we could really do about it,” said Hamilton.

Verstappen finished 16.555sec ahead of Hamilton with Perez just over a second further back.

The Dutchman increased his lead in the world championship to 19 points from Hamilton with four races left.

“There’s still a long way to go,” Verstappen said. “It’s of course looking good but also it can turn around very quickly.”

Frenchman Pierre Gasly was fourth in an AlphaTauri followed by the Ferraris of Monegasque Charles LeClerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz.