A tough and hard-fought Mexican Grand Prix for both of our drivers, who drove brilliantly under difficult circumstances after starting at the back of the grid.
Stoffel made an epic start from 19th on the grid, and was up to 13th by the end of lap one, with Fernando just behind in 14th after lap two (from 18th on the grid). By lap five, Stoffel was up to 10th position, with Fernando in 12th behind a struggling [Romain] Grosjean. The pair fought a firm battle in which the latter gained an advantage off the track and was later penalised, although Fernando was still able to pass him and move up to 11th behind his teammate.
Both Stoffel and Fernando were then caught behind the Sauber of [Marcus] Ericsson for some laps, unable to get close enough in the corners to make a move after the straight. On lap 18, Fernando overtook Stoffel to give him the opportunity to attempt a pass, but he too struggled to make headway on what is notoriously a difficult track on which to overtake.
Following [Brendon] Hartley’s retirement on lap 30, a miscommunication in the pits due to the late deployment of the VSC meant Stoffel was called late into the box and his pitstop was delayed, causing him to lose over five seconds in the stop and ultimately a position on track to [Felipe] Massa. He dropped down to 11th and then later 12th on lap 52, after a short-lived battle with a championship-fighting [Lewis] Hamilton. Despite a long and close fight with Massa over the closing 15 laps of the race, Stoffel was unable to capitalise on his strong pace and make a move stick, and he finished the race in 12th position.
Fernando enjoyed a feisty battle with [Sebastian] Vettel, and despite ultimately forfeiting that position, was up to eighth when he boxed a lap later than Stoffel on lap 32, losing only one further place during his stop. He then set about chasing down [Kevin] Magnussen, in which he made up a deficit of over eight seconds to close up to his rear wing and spent a long time – the pair battling for 34 laps – in his dirty air unable to pass. A close tussle with Hamilton ensued in the final stages, providing hugely entertaining viewing for the fans in the grandstands until Fernando was forced to concede four laps from the chequered flag. He ultimately finished the race in 10th place and scored a well-deserved point.