Lewis Hamilton clinched his fifth Formula 1 world title after finishing fourth behind winner Max Verstappen at the Mexican Grand Prix. The 33-year-old Mercedes’ driver knew a top-seven finish in Mexico City would be enough even if rival Sebastian Vettel won the race in his Ferrari.
However, the German never looked like ousting Verstappen, who comfortably maintained the lead throughout after overtaking team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at the start of the race.
Indeed, Red Bull looked on course for a one-two finish but Ricciardo, who started on pole, was forced to retire with engine failure on Lap 61.
That allowed Vettel to take second, while his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen grabbed the third podium place which means Mercedes must wait to seal the Constructors’ Championship title.
The Silver Arrows were blighted by tyre issues throughout the race and Hamilton decided to coast home in fourth just ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas to move him alongside Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio on five world titles and just two behind all-time record holder Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton said: “It is a very strange feeling right now. Firstly I want to say a big thank you to all the fans making the Mexican Grand Prix as special as it is.
“Secondly a big thank you to my team. It wasn’t won here, just throughout the season and a lot of hard work. To complete this (his fifth world title) when Fangio did it with Mercedes is an incredible feeling and very surreal.
“It was a horrible race, I had a great start, was working my way up then I don’t know what was happening. We were struggling Valtteri and I.
“I’m just so grateful to God and I wouldn’t be here without all the hard work my dad did and my family.”