Lewis Hamilton celebrated his fifth Components One world championship and joined an elite trio of greats on Sunday after a Mexican Grand Prix received by Crimson Bull’s Max Verstappen for the second yr in a row. The Mercedes driver, who equalled the 5 titles of late 1950s Argentine nice Juan Manuel Fangio with solely seven occasions champion Michael Schumacher above them, completed fourth whereas Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel was second.
Hamilton had wanted solely 5 factors to make certain of the title whereas 4 occasions champion Vettel needed to win to have any hope of denying the Briton.
“It is one thing I dreamed of, however I by no means in 1,000,000 years thought I might be stood right here as a five-time champion,” the 33-year-old advised Sky Sports activities tv. “I am so grateful for everybody who helped me be right here, to lift the bar and elevate the cup.
“It wasn’t received right here, simply all through the season and numerous exhausting work,” added the 33-year-old after doing smoking ‘donuts’ in entrance of a 130,000-strong crowd who witnessed a uncommon race with no Mercedes driver standing on the rostrum.
“To finish this when Fangio did it with Mercedes is an unbelievable feeling and really surreal.” Crew boss Toto Wolff hailed Hamilton as a well-deserved champion.
“He has actually been the dominant driver this yr,” mentioned the Austrian.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third, that means the constructors’ championship remained open no less than till the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time with Mercedes’ lead trimmed. In a pleasant sporting gesture, Hamilton hugged Vettel after which ran again to the Mercedes storage to embrace his workforce mates one after the other.
“I feel he drove fantastically all yr and was the higher certainly one of us two,” mentioned the German, whose season unravelled after the August break. “I advised him ‘effectively deserved’ and to get pleasure from it. Quantity 5 I feel is one thing unbelievable.
“I requested him to maintain pushing for subsequent yr. I would like him at his greatest to battle him once more.”
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, Verstappen’s workforce mate, retired from the race with a smoking engine after ranging from pole place.
Crew principal Christian Horner described that eighth retirement in 19 races as “completely gutting’, with Crimson Bull fretting about whether or not he would make it to the end.
“It was a disgrace to lose Daniel,” mentioned Verstappen, who had been indignant on Saturday after lacking out on pole. “I feel we might have had a one-two or no less than two automobiles on the rostrum.”
The Dutch driver seized the lead at the beginning, with Hamilton additionally making a fast getaway to fit in behind with Ricciardo dropping to 3rd.
However in a high-altitude race of attrition, with tyre put on taking part in an enormous half within the final result, the champion was unable to match the tempo and had no must take any dangers both.
“There’s nothing left guys, these tyres are lifeless,” Hamilton mentioned after operating off the monitor on lap 47. His Finnish workforce mate Valtteri Bottas completed fifth however lapped by Verstappen.
As he crossed the road to take the title in Mexico for the second yr in a row, Hamilton heard a message from Hollywood actor Will Smith come over the radio: “That is the way you do it, similar to that. That is the way you’re alleged to drive.”
However the afternoon was certainly one of his hardest of the season, the Briton off the rostrum for the primary time since a race retirement in Austria at first of July. Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault, who had Spaniard Carlos Sainz retire early on, with Charles Leclerc seventh for Sauber.
Stoffel Vandoorne loved a uncommon afternoon of success, ending eighth for McLaren, whereas Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was ninth and Pierre Gasly 10th for Toro Rosso.
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