Red Bull founder Mateschitz died on Saturday at the age of 78 after a long battle with illness, sparking a wave of tributes from across the F1 paddock.
After finishing third in Saturday’s qualifying, Verstappen said he wanted to do Mateschitz proud in Sunday’s race as Red Bull bid for its first constructors’ title since 2013.
Verstappen was comfortably in the lead for the first two stints, only for a slow pit stop to drop him back and concede Lewis Hamilton advantage in the fight for victory.
“It was tough,” Verstappen said. “Everything was looking good, but then the pit stop was a bit longer than I would have liked, so I had to work my way back to the front. But today we gave our all.
“Obviously it’s a very difficult weekend for us, so it’s dedicated to Dietrich for what he’s done for everyone.
“The only thing we could do today was win, and even though it didn’t look good after the pit stop, I gave it my all and pushed to the end to come back.”
Verstappen added that the win “definitely means a lot to me” given Mateschitz’s role in his F1 career, saying he was “so important”.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st place, with the winners’ cup
Photo: Glenn Dunbar / Images of motor sports
“You really wanted to get a good result today and that’s amazing,” he said.
Red Bull wrapped up the constructors’ crown with three races remaining, giving it a sweep of this year’s titles after Verstappen won the drivers’ championship in Japan two weeks ago.
Ferrari had to clear Red Bull by 19 points to stay in contention for the title in Mexico, but Red Bull managed to finish first and fourth to extend their lead to 22 points.
“We had a great chance to win here in the constructors’ competition,” said Verstappen. “Of course you want to do it in style, and I think we did that today.”
Verstappen expressed his frustration on the radio after a slow pit stop that cost him around nine seconds, keeping Hamilton at bay for the first two periods and two safety car periods.
The Dutchman made a move on Leclerc to grab third at Turn 12, having attempted a breakaway at Turn 1 earlier in the lap. He was then able to make a similar move against Hamilton to take the lead, but the Mercedes car filled his mirrors for the next few laps.
“Anyway, it’s a great track to fight on,” he said. “If you go through on the turn, you can come back on the next one. It’s very nice to drive here.”