Sunday could be the day when Max Verstappen breaks more Formula 1 records.
Verstappen enters Sunday’s Mexico Grand Prix (4 p.m. ET, ABC) looking for his 16th win of the season. The 2023 Formula 1 champion got his 15th win of the season last week at the United States Grand Prix to tie the wins record that he set a season ago on the way to his second title.
A win on Sunday would not only make Verstappen the winningest driver in any F1 season, it also would give him the most dominant F1 season ever even if he fails to score points in the final three races of the season.
Michael Schumacher won 13 of 18 races in 2004 on the way to his seventh and final title. His win percentage of 72.2% has stood for nearly 20 years as the best win percentage for any driver in a single season.
If Verstappen gets his 16th win in 19 races in Mexico City, he’ll have a win percentage of 84% and be guaranteed to have a win percentage of no worse than 72.7% for the entire 2023 season.
Oddsmakers are once again bullish on Verstappen’s chances at a win too, though the No. 2 favorite’s odds aren’t bad either. Verstappen enters the Mexico Grand Prix at -275 to get the win. With an incredibly long front straightaway and a few high-speed turns, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez sets up well for Red Bull’s car.
Lewis Hamilton is the No. 2 favorite to win at +600 after his unofficial second-place showing at the USGP. Hamilton was disqualified after the race because of excessive wear on the floor plank of his car, but the speed that he and Mercedes showed throughout the weekend didn’t appear to be a fluke or the product of a car that didn’t conform to F1 regulations.
If Hamilton and Mercedes can hang with Verstappen again in Mexico — and not get disqualified, of course — then it bodes well for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Mercedes’ George Russell won that race a season ago and it wouldn’t be surprising for Hamilton to have odds of +500 or better ahead of Brazil with another good race in Mexico.
Here are a few bets we like ahead of the 19th Grand Prix of the season.
Max Verstappen to win the race (-275)
This feels too obvious to officially consider as a bet, but sometimes it’s worth stating the obvious.
Both McLaren drivers to score points (-250)
The USGP was disappointing for Oscar Piastri. We expect him to bounce back in Mexico.
Lewis Hamilton to finish in the top 3 (-165)
These are great odds for the No. 2 favorite to simply finish in the top three, especially when you consider that Verstappen is -1400 for a top-10 finish and Hamilton is at -1200.
Lando Norris to beat Sergio Perez (-105)
Perez could be buoyed by the exuberant crowd at his home Grand Prix, but Norris has been the better driver over the second half of the season.
Charles Leclerc to win pole (+800)
This is our flier of the weekend. Ferrari’s straight-line speed in qualifying is the best in the paddock and it wouldn’t be too much of a stunner to see Leclerc get back-to-back pole positions.