Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes Driver Lewis Hamilton has had two consecutive P2 finishes in Austin and Mexico City, but was disqualified in the USGP. AFP / Giuseppe CACACE

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has bounced back after having been disqualified out of his second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix last weekend. He managed to claim P2 once more, and keep it this time, at the Mexico City Grand Prix on Sunday.

In what is clearly an end-of-season revival for Mercedes, Hamilton had another strong drive and was once again beaten only by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who had already wrapped up this year's world championship title.

The seven-time world champion endured a miserable start to his 2023 campaign, in what looked to be a season that won't be any better than 2022. However, even though Red Bull ran away with both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship titles this year, Mercedes are showing glimpses of their past glory in the closing stages of the season.

In Austin, Hamilton finished second behind Verstappen, but was stripped of his position after having been found to be in breach of regulations concerning his car's skid block. He and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc suffered the same fate in Austin, but both bounced back almost immediately in Mexico.

Positive signs for Mercedes

The Mercedes garage has been down in the dumps for the past two seasons after failing to come up with a car that can challenge the dominance of the Red Bulls. However, the two consecutive second-place finishes for Hamilton has given them a glimmer of hope that perhaps 2024 could be a year where they could challenge their old rivals once more.

Hamilton's teammate George Russell only finished in sixth place in Mexico, but has been consistent in helping Mercedes score points this season. They are currently sitting in second place with 371 points, and are twenty-two points ahead of Ferrari.

Disappointment for Ferrari

Speaking of Ferrari, the Italian outfit saw their two cars in the front row after qualifying in Mexico. However, by the end of the first lap, Verstappen had already taken the lead from Leclerc despite starting from third place.

Meanwhile, home hero Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull, suffered a first-lap crash with Leclerc that took him out of the race. Luckily for the Ferrari ace, he survived the crash and was able to salvage third place. His teammate Carlos Sainz finished behind him in fourth, making it a good result for the team under the circumstances, but disappointing considering where they started on the grid.

The race was decided in the opening laps

Verstappen immediately got ahead of Sainz into turn one and started to put pressure on pole-sitter Leclerc. Perez tried a move down the left-hand side of the track to pass Leclerc but the Monegasque was left with nowhere to go to avoid contact. As a result, his front wing pierced through the Red Bull, effectively taking out the home bet.

The damage on Leclerc's front wing was enough to slow him down and give Verstappen an easy chance to overtake. By the end of the first lap, the Dutchman had already opened a 1.5-second lead.

Verstappen opened up a 17-second advantage by lap 33 when Kevin Magnussen slammed into the barriers when his rear suspension broke. The red flag was waved and the gap that Verstappen built disintegrated

Nevertheless, he managed to execute the standing restart flawlessly, soaring off into the distance. However, Hamilton was able to take advantage of the opportunity to catch Leclerc.

He overtook the Ferrari with the help of DRS on lap 40, and it was pretty much status quo for the podium spots form there. Sainz held on to fourth place while Lando Norris made a sensational recovery drive in his McLaren from 17th place up to fifth.

Hamilton said after the race: "I feel fresh, we weren't having to push crazy hard out there. But this is a great result considering we started sixth."

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen celebrates after his 16th win of a record-breaking season AFP / Alfredo ESTRELLA