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And the result pulled Red Bull nearly even with Mercedes in a team championship worth millions of dollars at the end of season.

While Verstappen and Perez basked in the chants of “Olé! Olé!” from the massive crowd during the podium ceremony and Perez’s father wildly waved the Mexican flag, Hamilton could only watch and listen.

He had to know he’s running out of time and races to catch Verstappen in pursuit of a record eighth F1 season title.

Verstappen now leads Hamilton in the championship by 19 points with four races left, starting next week in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Verstappen won in 2019 and likely will be favored to again.

The two have traded the lead several times this season, and even crashed into each other twice, in F1′s tightest title chase in years.

“Today with their superior speed, if they work to carry that into the next ones, we may be in trouble, or we will be in trouble,” Hamilton said.

Verstappen certainly isn’t taking anything for granted. The 24-year-old Dutchman is chasing his first F1 championship and earned his ninth win of the season, his second in a row and third in Mexico City in four years.

The pass just happened a lot faster than anyone at Mercedes would have liked. Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff was annoyed after the race that Verstappen was able to make the move so easily. And by getting knocked to the back, Bottas finished 15th.

Mercedes now leads Red Bull by just one point in the team constructor’s championship.

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“We had two cars in front and seemed to open up the sea for Max to come around the outside,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1. “And even so, even with the spin afterwards (and) a complete loss of points, it could have been a third or fourth place. It is annoying to say the least.”

Verstappen was soon zooming off into the distance. That left Hamilton playing defense against Perez in a desperate bid to hold on to critical championship points needed to keep Verstappen within sight in the title fight.

The home crowd roared when Perez briefly led after Hamilton and Verstappen pitted for new tires. He pulled within striking distance of Hamilton in the final laps but couldn’t make the final move to pass him for second. Perez instead settled for a third straight podium finish for the first time in his career.

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