Lewis Hamilton described the 2022 season as a "team-building exercise" for Mercedes, having failed to finish the final race of the season.

The seven-time world champion a difficult campaign this year, having struggled to compete for race victories and Mercedes finding themselves way off the pace of the likes of Red Bull, who waltzed to victory in both championships.

In Abu Dhabi, an initially strong start from Hamilton saw him leapfrog Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to fourth but he encountered issues after bouncing over a curb off track.

Hamilton was eventually forced to retire with power failure in an end that summed up the difficulties he encountered throughout the year, though he hopes the team can take lessons from their woes into 2023.

"Ultimately, we started with a car that we didn't want and we finished with a car that we didn't want," he told Sky Sports.

"We were stuck with it, we kept working away to improve it but the fundamental issues have been there all the way to the end, as you saw this weekend.

"It's been more of a team-building exercise this year and I'm very proud of the team. I'm very grateful for everybody who has continued to push.

"We have these next couple of weeks where we will be back at the factory, we'll get to see everybody. While we won't be celebrating a championship, we'll be celebrating them still for their hard work and efforts.

"I hope that the struggles this year really provide us with the tools and the strength to fight for many more championships moving forward."

A DNF in Abu Dhabi ensured Hamilton would finish a Formula One season without a race win for the first time in his career.

Max Verstappen claimed a record third straight victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc edged Sergio Perez for second at Formula One's season-ending event.

The Red Bull pair dominated the headlines in Sao Paulo last Sunday after Verstappen refused to allow Perez to overtake to aid his battle with Leclerc in the drivers' championship.

Verstappen became the first driver to win three consecutive races at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, but the Brazil decision came back to haunt Red Bull as Leclerc held off Perez to claim second.

That saw the Ferrari driver beat Perez to second in the drivers' championship, while Lewis Hamilton ended the 2022 season without victory for the first time in his career after late Mercedes car failure and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel signed off with a point.

Sao Paulo winner George Russell suffered a five-second penalty after an unsafe release in the pits, before Fernando Alonso retired on lap 28 due to problems with his Alpine car.

Red Bull decided to pit Perez on lap 34, handing second to Leclerc, before the Mexican eventually battled past Hamilton to move into third with 11 laps remaining.

Mechanical issues for Hamilton saw the Mercedes star forced to withdraw on lap 56, while Ferrari opted to keep Leclerc on the same hard tyres with a one-stop strategy throughout.

That decision proved rewarding as Leclerc held off Perez to finish behind 15-race winner Verstappen as Ferrari secured second in both the drivers' and constructors' championship behind Red Bull.

Hamilton claims unwanted record

Hamilton experienced a season to forget as he and Mercedes battled with car issues – no more so than on Sunday – and underwhelming performances against the dominant Red Bull.

The seven-time world champion boasts the most wins in history at Abu Dhabi (five) but was unable to draw on that experience as he finished without a win or pole position this season amid a frustrating campaign.

Vettel bows out

Four-time F1 champion Vettel announced in July he would retire at the end of the 2022 season, with the last event in Abu Dhabi acting as his final swansong.

The German, who was heard questioning his team's strategy on radio, could only manage 10th in his final outing but ended with the most points in history for Aston Martin (80) after his 299th career race.

IN THE POINTS

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +8.771 seconds
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +10.093s
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +24.892s
5. George Russell (Mercedes) +35.888s
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +56.234s
7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +57.2402
8. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +1:16.931s
9. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +1:23.268s
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +1:23.898s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 454
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 308
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 305
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 275
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 246

Constructors

1. Red Bull 759
2. Ferrari 554
3. Mercedes 515
4. Alpine 173
5. McLaren 159

Lewis Hamilton is looking forward to a final race in the Mercedes W13 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, admitting it is a car he never wants to drive again.

Having fought Max Verstappen all the way for the title last year, only losing in controversial circumstances in the final moments of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit, Hamilton has not been a threat in 2022 as the Red Bull star waltzed to a second consecutive championship.

Instead, Hamilton was battling with 'porpoising' issues early in the campaign and, after some respite from the issue following the mid-season break, he saw those problems emerge again in Saturday's qualifying session.

Mercedes' campaign has been a frustrating one for Hamilton, and he is eager to bring his spell at the wheel of this particular car to a close.

"We definitely weren't expecting to see such a big gap, but we are losing 0.6secs on the straight," Hamilton told the BBC.

"Kind of reminiscent of some of the previous races before, like Austin. And bouncing is back, so that's not been easy.

"I am looking forward to the end of Tuesday, which is the last time I have to drive this thing. I don't ever plan to drive this one again. It won't be one of the ones I request to have in my contract.

"We have some downforce. We just need a much more efficient car and everybody in the team knows exactly what are the problems and where we have gone wrong, so I'm pretty confident they are not going to build the next car with any of those characteristics."

A disappointing showing in qualifying leaves Hamilton fifth on the grid for Sunday's race, ahead of team-mate George Russell. It makes the experienced Briton highly likely to finish the 2022 season without a race win – which would be the first time in his career he has gone without.

Team principal Toto Wolff has insisted the lack of a win is not something that has been in the mind of Hamilton.

"He says that the one victory a year isn't really a record that bothers him," Wolff said. "If I'm trying to put myself in his shoes, where I was before Brazil, it didn't particularly bother me whether we would win a race this season, because all our eyes are already on next year.

"But having won one, it felt pretty good. At least nobody could say you didn't win a race."

Russell got that win last week, with Hamilton taking second place.

Looking at setting up seven-time champion Hamilton for a title tilt in 2023, and banishing this season's winless run, Wolff said: "I don't think this particular record is an important one for him, but we need to provide him with a car next year in which he can fight for victories and championships. That's most important and he knows that."

Hamilton heads into next season, his last contracted campaign with Mercedes, level with Michael Schumacher for the most career world titles in Formula One.

Sunday's Abu Dhabi race sees the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the front row, followed by the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with the Mercedes cars occupying row three.

Lewis Hamilton is "not concerned" about racing against Max Verstappen in future despite the two clashing in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

After a red flag on the opening lap in Sao Paulo, the restart saw the two familiar foes make contact heading into the second corner, forcing both off the track.

The incident dropped Hamilton from second to eighth, while Verstappen required a new front wing.

The world champion was handed a five-second time penalty for his part in the crash, which was reminiscent of a number of battles between the pair in their thrilling title battle last season.

Verstappen blamed his rival after the race, which Hamilton's team-mate George Russell went on to win while the seven-time world champion followed up in second to earn a Mercedes one-two.

"It cost him the race win and it gave me five seconds," Verstappen told Sky Sports. "It wouldn't have mattered anything for my race.

"I thought we could race quite well together but clearly the intention was not there to race."

Hamilton responded in the post-race press conference, saying: "I am not concerned.

"I think it's natural when you have the success and the numbers on your chest that you become a bit of a target.

"But it's okay, it's nothing that I've not dealt with before."

The clash with Hamilton was not Verstappen's sole controversy from the race, after he refused to hand sixth place to Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who called Verstappen's decision "disappointing" with the Mexican battling Charles Leclerc for second place in the drivers' championship.

George Russell was lauded by team-mate Lewis Hamilton after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, with the first-time Formula One race winner left "speechless" by his success.

Having won Saturday's sprint race, Russell led from the start in an eventful race on Sunday, coming out on top after two restarts following safety cars at the Interlagos Circuit. 

Russell had to fend off Hamilton – who had earlier clashed with Max Verstappen but come away largely unscathed and unpunished – after the second safety car, but there was no bad blood between the Mercedes duo at the end.

"What an amazing feeling," said Russell after sealing Mercedes' first win of the season. "Just a huge thank you to the whole team for making this possible. 

"It has been an emotional rollercoaster this season. This was a tough race, I felt in control.

"Lewis was super-fast and when I saw the Safety Car, I thought this is going to be a really difficult end, he put me under so much pressure.

"I am speechless. On the in lap, all of these memories start flooding back, starting with my mum and dad at go-karting and going through to all of the support I have had from the rest of my family, my girlfriend, my trainer, my manager.

"The list is endless. I can't thank them all enough, I am super proud."

Hamilton said: "A huge congratulations to George. What an amazing drive he did today.

"He did an amazing qualifying yesterday, so he truly deserves it. To my team, so proud of everyone back at the factory and here. This is an incredible result. 

"We’ve worked so hard through this year to get a 1-2 and to get a win, and so this is hugely deserved by everybody so a huge thank you."

On his collision with old rival Verstappen, who received a five-second time penalty, Hamilton added: "What can I say, you know how it is with Max."

The harmony in the Mercedes camp was not replicated in the other teams. 

While Red Bull's Sergio Perez was left infuriated by Verstappen, who refused to hand sixth place back to the Mexican after failing to overtake Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc also wanted Ferrari to concede Carlos Sainz's place on the podium to boost his chances of finishing second in the world championship.

Leclerc will now head into the final race in Abu Dhabi on level points with Perez.

"I think we can be happy with that," said Sainz. "It is a shame that Mercedes are so quick but congratulations to George."

George Russell led from the start in a dramatic, stuttering Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday to clinch his first Formula One win, holding off Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Having won the sprint race at the Interlagos Circuit on Saturday, Russell kept his composure while those around him clashed and collided in a race full of incident.

The race was halted by a red flag on the first lap, with Daniel Ricciardo crashing into Kevin Magnussen, and Hamilton was perhaps fortunate to come away unscathed and unpunished after a collision with Max Verstappen following the restart – which saw the world champion handed a five-second time penalty.

A second safety car was brought out after Lando Norris lost power on the track with 19 laps remaining, but another fine restart from Russell saw him see off Hamilton and claim a deserved maiden victory.

Sunday's race was dramatic from the start as Ricciardo and Magnussen crashed out as early as Turn 8 – and the restart brought another collision, this time between old rivals Hamilton and Verstappen.

Hardly strangers to battles and bruises down the years, Hamilton and Verstappen tussled on Turn 2.

Verstappen got around the seven-time world champion on Turn 1, but despite appearing to have the racing line on the inside on the next corner, it was the Dutchman who was punished after a significant collision – though both cars were able to stay in the race.

Charles Leclerc was also sent spinning into the barrier after an incident involving Norris, but the Ferrari was able to continue.

Hamilton recovered swiftly, with the Mercedes driver clawing his way ahead of Norris, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez.

A three-second loss in the pits cost Verstappen further time, though the Red Bull's speed was on show as he quickly cruised back into the points.

However, Norris' vehicle failed him on lap 52, resulting in a second full safety car. Having seen his 11-second lead cut by that stoppage, Russell might have lost his nerve, but a wonderful restart propelled him out of Hamilton's DRS range.

Sainz came in third, leaving Leclerc dismayed, though the day belonged to Mercedes, who are aiming to cap a frustrating season with a flourish.

Team-mates tussle

There are few friends in F1, it would seem. While Hamilton was happy to congratulate his team-mate Russell on a maiden F1 success, there was frustration within the ranks of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Leclerc was begging Ferrari to instruct his team-mate Sainz to give way, and concede a podium place, in order to boost his chances of finishing second in the world championship.

Verstappen, meanwhile, ignored Red Bull's instructions to hand sixth place back to Perez if he was unable to pass Fernando Alonso. "I have given you my reasons," Verstappen said on the team radio. 

Magnussen's weekend ends in sorrow 

Haas driver Magnussen took a shock pole in qualifying on Friday, though he went down to eighth in the sprint race. However, by Turn 8 on the first lap, the 30-year-old had crashed out.

Ricciardo, who could now face a grid penalty in his last race for McLaren, was to blame for clipping the back of Magnussen's car, with the Australian compounding the issue when he failed to avoid the spinning Haas, sending both vehicles into the wall and out of the race.

IN THE POINTS

1. George Russell (Mercedes)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.529 seconds
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +4.051s
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +8.441s
5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +9.561s
6. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +10.056s
7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +14.080s
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +18.690s
9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +22.552s
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +23.552s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 429
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 290
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 290
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 265
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 240

Constructors

1. Red Bull 719
2. Ferrari 524
3. Mercedes 505
4. Alpine 167
5. McLaren 148

Lewis Hamilton is planning to work alongside teammate George Russell to secure victory in Sunday's race in Sao Paulo, following a stellar showing in Saturday's Sprint.

Russell was a surprise victor after overtaking champion Max Verstappen to secure pole position for the race, while Hamilton rose from eighth to join his teammate on the second row.

It hands Mercedes their best chance of victory in 2022, after what has been a frustrating season for last year's winning side, as they look to end the season on a high in the final few races.

While Hamilton is still seeking to avoid this being the first season where he has failed to secure a single win, his priority is in getting the best result for the team and he is looking to unite with Russell.

"This just goes to everyone back to the factory, everyone here working on the ground working so hard this year," he said after the Sprint.

"This is an amazing result, for us to be on the front row tomorrow is incredible so from there we should be able to work as a team and hold off the guys behind.

"We are going to try as hard as we can. If we can have some good degradation tomorrow, hopefully some good weather we can have a good fight on our hands. A win here for Brazil would be incredible."

Russell was left surprised by his performance on Saturday and is wary of the threat that Verstappen poses, with the Red Bull ace sitting on the second row alongside teammate Sergio Perez.

"It's crazy to think we are both starting on the front row and Lewis did a great job starting coming from P8," he said.

"I'm sure Max is going to be flying tomorrow coming through the pack but we are in a luxury position and we can maybe split the strategy and go for the win."

Mercedes enjoyed a strong Saturday ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix as George Russell won the sprint race at Interlagos.

Kevin Magnussen was the surprise pole holder after his brilliant qualifying session on Friday, though the Haas driver, who had promised to go "maximum attack" slipped well down the grid.

Russell qualified third and delivered a brilliant drive to claim his first race win and get himself on pole for Sunday's grand prix.

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari clinched second, though a five-place penalty should see Lewis Hamilton join his team-mate at the front of the grid, although the result will be subject to a stewards' enquiry.

Hamilton will be investigated, along with Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu, for his position in his grid box at the start of the sprint.

Should he retain his place in second, Hamilton – who is aiming to equal Michael Schumacher as the driver with the most wins at Interlagos (four) – will take his place on the front row for the first time in 2022.

Max Verstappen went out on mediums instead of soft tyres, and that decision backfired as he dropped from second to fourth, though the world champion will move up thanks to Sainz's penalty, which came as a result of the Spaniard clipping the Dutchman's Red Bull.

Sergio Perez, Verstappen's team-mate, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris will start ahead of Sainz, while Magnussen will have to settle for eighth.

For Mercedes, the omens are good, with 15 of the last 17 winners at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix having come from the front row, with eight of the winners having started on pole.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. George Russell (Mercedes)
2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +3.995
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +4.492
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +10.494
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +11.855
6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +13.133
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) +25.624
8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +28.768
9. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +30.218
10. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) +34.170

George Russell is in a good spot going into Saturday's sprint race at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, but his session ended poorly as he spun out violently.

Ultimately, the time he set previously ended up being good enough to take third, with his incident chewing up valuable track time as the rain arrived.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Russell said it was a rough session physically, detailing the damage inside the car.

"I have broken the headrest because my head was banging so much," he said. "It was a pretty unpleasant experience.

"I wanted to do a 360, but then did the rears in the gravel, so probably not the wisest choice I have ever made.

"As it turned out, we knew that the first lap was it all."

He added that he believes there should be no ill-effects for his car the rest of the weekend stemming from the crash.

"There was no damage, but you are always tentative as it is lifted onto the tow truck," he said. 

"There is a lot of gravel, so the guys are going to have to take the car to pieces tonight to make sure we have got all of the gravel out, but it should be ok."

Teammate Lewis Hamilton made his way back out onto the track following the incident, but he said the track was in no condition to put up a strong time.

"I went out there to see what the conditions were like, but obviously it was properly wet," he said.

"It was just difficult to see the conditions, difficult to see the rain drops because it was so dark and I was the last car out, so I think I got the earliest part of the rain and probably lost too much in the tyres in the pitlane.

"Just a bit unfortunate, but George did a great job, and congratulations to Kevin [Magnussen]."

Haas' Magnussen will start the sprint race from pole, with Max Verstappen in second.

Surprise pole-sitter Kevin Magnussen pledged "maximum attack" as he aimed to "have some fun" in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint race.

Haas driver Magnussen, who claimed a podium finish in his first Formula One race back in 2014, had never previously topped qualifying.

Yet he claimed a shock pole position on Friday, ahead of world champion Max Verstappen and Mercedes' George Russell, to ensure he will start Saturday's sprint race at the front of the grid.

Magnussen recorded a fastest lap of 1:11.674 before a combination of a rain shower and a red flag due to Russell spinning off ended the session.

"You're kidding, you're kidding, you're f****** kidding me! I've never, ever felt like this in my life," the Dane said on the team radio after being informed he was P1.

Magnussen, the first driver from Denmark to claim a pole in F1, had hardly composed himself by the time he was interviewed following the race.

"I don't know what to say," said the 30-year-old, who signed for Haas earlier this year after Nikita Mazepin had his contract terminated.

"The team put me out on the track at the exact right moment. We were the first out in the pit lane and did a pretty decent lap and we are on pole. It is incredible. 

"Thank you to Gene Haas and [team manager] Guenther Steiner and the whole team for this opportunity. 

"It has just been an amazing journey. It is incredible, thank you."

Asked about his plan for Saturday, Magnussen quipped: "Maximum attack, let's go for something funny."

Magnussen might still have his work cut out to hold off the Red Bull of Verstappen, who said: "We are still at the front. We just stayed calm from Q1 to Q2, then Q3 was where it was a bit more of a lottery but we are still on the front row."

Russell had to settle for P3 following his spin, though the Briton believes the sprint race provides Mercedes with a prime chance to beat Verstappen.

"Firstly, I'm happy to be P3 and congrats to Kevin," he said. "What an awesome job he did and Haas – they truly deserve it for all the efforts they have been putting in.

"P3 is not necessarily where we wanted to be but it's a very good place to be starting for tomorrow's sprint race. 

"I think it is our best shot at finishing ahead of Max and Red Bull if there are some mixed conditions. I think we are ready for a good couple of races."

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 1:11.674
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.203
3. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.385
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) +0.589
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.683
6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.751
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +0.830
8. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.937
9. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +3.927
10. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Lewis Hamilton is grateful to have been made an honorary citizen of Brazil and dedicated the achievement to boyhood idol Ayrton Senna.

The seven-time Formula One world champion received the honour during a ceremony at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia on Monday.

Hamilton delighted home spectators when holding a Brazilian flag from his Mercedes after claiming his third victory at Interlagos last year.

That is also the venue where the Briton won his first world title in 2008, and where he will return this weekend for the penultimate grand prix of 2022.

While Hamilton may still be seeking a first victory of a hugely disappointing campaign, the 37-year-old was all smiles as he received Brazil's legislative medal of merit. 

"I'd like to say a big, big thank you to everyone here, for all those who've moved mountains to make this day possible," he said. 

"It is honestly the greatest honour for me to be here receiving and accepting this citizenship. I really do feel like now I'm one of you, finally.

"The love that's grown since I arrived here in 2007, the experiences we've had and, particularly in 2021, it was one of the most special moments of my entire life. 

"I can't wait for us to continue to strive ahead."

Hamilton's seven world titles is the joint-most in F1 history, level with Michael Schumacher and four more than the late, great Senna.

"I really want to dedicate today, this honour, to Ayrton Senna – to Ayrton's family, to his friends and to his fans," Hamilton added. 

"For me, when I was five years old, I saw Ayrton race for the first time, and that was the moment I knew that I wanted to be a world champion, just like him.

"It was then that I knew and learnt about Brazil. It was then that I started to play FIFA as Brazil! 

"But really, through his eyes, I was able to see how passionate Brazilians were, and how deep it goes, the love and passion you have for your country, and how beautiful it is. 

"I'm so excited to spend some more time here."

Daniel Ricciardo believes spending time away from Formula One could act as a "blessing in disguise" after seeing his chances of staying on the grid next year diminish.

Since McLaren announced an early termination of Ricciardo's contract in August, the Australian has seen several vacant seats filled ahead of next season. 

Only Haas now have an empty seat on the grid for 2023, but Ricciardo is not interested in joining the team.

Ricciardo offered a reminder of his quality when he overcame a 10-second penalty to finish seventh at Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix, and believes the opportunity to reflect on his achievements may allow him to return stronger in 2024.

Looking ahead to the 2023 campaign when speaking to Sky Sports, Ricciardo acknowledged: "I can confidently say I won't be on the grid, behind a wheel. 

"But I still want to be in the sport, I want to be working with a team, still with the ambition to be back on the grid in 2024.

"I feel like a bit of time away from a race seat will actually do me good, and then [I'll] try to rebuild something for 2024.

"The way the seasons are, it's pretty relentless, you don't really get a chance to rebuild.

"Everyone's different, but I truly believe that will be, in a way, a blessing in disguise for me. By doing less, I'll achieve more."

Ricciardo has been linked with a reserve role at Mercedes since conceding a seat was unlikely for next year, but the Silver Arrows' team principal Toto Wolff was giving nothing away when asked about a potential move.

"We very much like him; he's a great character," Wolff said. "But we are not in a position yet to decide who is going to do reserve and be third driver."

Max Verstappen vowed to "go for more" after clinching a record 14th win of the Formula One season – as Red Bull's tactics earned plaudits from Lewis Hamilton.

Victory at the Mexican Grand Prix took Verstappen into the outright lead for the most single-season victories in F1 history, going past a mark previously jointly held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen pitted to swap soft for medium tyres in the Red Bull on lap 26 and Hamilton came in soon after for Mercedes and went out on the hard compound after beginning on medium.

The British driver was not happy with that choice and openly questioned the strategy during the race, with Mercedes seemingly hopeful Red Bull were on a two-stop plan.

However, Verstappen made it to the finish, with the championship winner adding another garland in a staggering season, while Mexican team-mate Sergio Perez finished third.

A strong start from pole by Verstappen allowed him to have command of the race throughout.

"Of course that helped me out a lot for the rest of the race, to stay in the lead after turn one," Verstappen said.

"We were also on a different strategy to the cars around us, but it's an incredible result. The pace of the car was again really nice. We had to look after our tyres because it was a very long stint on the medium, but we made it work."

When the 14th win was pointed out to him, Verstappen said: "It's been an incredible year so far. We are definitely enjoying it and we'll try to go for more."

Two races remain in 2022, in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and Hamilton may struggle to prevent Verstappen further stretching his wins record.

Hamilton was booed by the Mexican crowd, despite describing them as "amazing". The negative reaction to Hamilton appeared to stem from fans favouring Red Bull, given home driver Perez races for the Austrian team.

"It has definitely been a bit awkward this time around with boos all day, but nonetheless I have so much love for Mexico and the people here. What a great race and event this weekend," said the seven-time champion.

"I was so close in the first stint, but the Red Bulls were clearly too fast today and also maybe they had the better tyre strategy."

He reiterated the point he made to his team that Mercedes may have gone this one wrong.

"I'm not sure it was the right tyre at the end," Hamilton said. "I thought we should have started on the soft, but obviously we had the opposite tyre. It was OK in the first stint, but the hard tyre was just the offset. So, congratulations to Max, and it's great to be up here and separate the two [Red Bull drivers]."

Perez, the darling of the Mexico City crowd, said: "I gave my best. Today at the start I really pushed hard."

He pointed to overtaking being "so difficult", and that was shown in a race where there was precious little drama.

"Unfortunately it didn't work out today but still it's a good podium in front of this crowd," Perez said. "I really wanted more today but fair play, this still is a good day."

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate George Russell, resigned to missing out on a podium finish and complaining of worn tyres, pitted in the closing stages and produced the fastest lap of the race, a small consolation for the British driver.

Max Verstappen powered to a record 14th win of his championship-winning season as the Red Bull driver roared to victory at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Dutchman matched Formula One's single-season wins record shared by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel when he snatched a 13th success last week in Austin at the United States Grand Prix, and in Mexico City he went one better.

Many in the crowd were willing on Verstappen's Mexican team-mate Sergio Perez, but he had to settle for third place and another podium, a repeat of his result last year at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Perez separated the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton, who finished second, and George Russell, who took fourth, with the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in fifth and sixth.

It was a race that was bereft of drama, and the tone was set from the start. It was clean as pole-sitter Verstappen held off the Mercedes pair, with Hamilton nudging ahead of Russell in the early stages and Perez getting between the Silver Arrows as he climbed to third place.

That was how it finished, of course, and there was little to report of any import between the start and finish.

Hamilton had cast doubt on Mercedes' ability to get a first win of the season, and despite taking second and fourth, they never really looked like rivalling Verstappen for the win.

Three-quarters of the way through the race, Hamilton asked his team whether he was running on the wrong tyres and was told by the Mercedes garage they were confident in their strategy. At the finish, he again cast doubt on team tactics.

He had also pointed to power drop-offs. At that stage, Verstappen led Hamilton by just over 10 seconds, and Mercedes were counting on the Red Bulls needing second pit stops, but that prospect went away.

Russell complained over the team radio that his tyres were "gone" on the 67th lap but was told "his tyres will be more gone than yours" as he looked to close in on third-placed Perez. Little changed as the drivers remained in the same order through to the finish.

A joyful Verstappen said on team radio, after being congratulated for his record drive: "Double podium as well, that's amazing here in Mexico, well done guys."

 

The Max and Lewis show rolls on

Verstappen and Hamilton were first and second, but the gap was 15 seconds by the end of the race and it was barely competitive. What the result means, though, is they have now finished first and second in a race on 33 occasions, extending the record they established in Austin.

Red Bull, meanwhile, have stretched their winning streak to nine races, matching a team-best set in the 2013 season when Sebastian Vettel won the closing nine races of that campaign.


F1? It's a team game

With Verstappen and Red Bull already having the championships wrapped up, others are jostling for places in the drivers' and constructors' standings.

Mercedes entered this race 53 points behind second-placed Ferrari, with only races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to come, and they had a strong day, raising hopes the Silver Arrows could yet finish as runners-up. The gap is now down to 40 points.

Ferrari's Leclerc saw his run of five consecutive podium finishes come to an end in a race where he was rarely a factor up front.

Max Verstappen knows pole position at the Mexican Grand Prix does not guarantee first place, as the Formula One world champion aims to claim a 14th win of the season.

Of Verstappen's 13 race wins in 2022, nine have come without the Dutchman starting on pole, which has seen him surpass Lewis Hamilton's calendar-year record (eight in 2019).

Verstappen will, though, start from the front in Mexico City on Sunday.

Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualified in second and third respectively, though Verstappen does not expect pole position to dictate who wins the race.

"I've started, I guess, everywhere except pole here, and we won the races, so it is always important to have a good start around here," Verstappen told reporters.

"I think our top speed is not too bad to defend, at least, when people are in the draft. We just need to focus on that and honestly, I think if we have a good race pace, then it will be a good fight. 

"We don't know [about the race pace] because we've been driving on these development tyres, so it's a bit difficult to tell. But I think the car we had [on Saturday], I'm expecting it to be alright."

Red Bull will match their longest winning streak in F1 should they clinch a ninth straight victory – only in 2013 have they achieved such a run.

Russell, who has enjoyed a strong debut season with Mercedes in a difficult campaign for the team, is hopeful of denting Verstappen's lead at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

"I think we were looking competitive. Similar to what Max said: we don't really know. But we think we've got a reasonable shot," Russell said.

"I think having Lewis and I there at the front gives us an opportunity to maybe do something different with the strategy.

"I don't think anybody really knows if it's going to be a one or two-stop. So, let's see what we can do."

Verstappen and Hamilton finished first and second respectively at the United States Grand Prix last week, becoming the pair with the most one-two finishes (32) in F1 history. 

Hamilton, however, understands the difficulties of challenging Verstappen, given Red Bull's superiority throughout the year – though an early attack at the first turn could be crucial.

"Naturally, it's always a tough race around here, with the track temperatures and tyres," Hamilton said. "These guys have been rapid all year long.

"Even at our best this weekend, still losing out to them through straight-line speed. It'll definitely be difficult to get by them, but we'll give it our best shot. And Turn 1 is an opportunity. So, we'll go for it."

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