Lewis Hamilton Clinches Fifth F1 Title At Mexican Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton Clinches Fifth F1 Title At Mexican Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton Clinches Fifth F1 Title At Mexican Grand Prix

Vettel's hopes of a fifth world title dissipated in the second half of the season, with Hamilton finishing on the podium for nine of the last 10 races and securing a string of victories, while the German and his Ferrari team made crucial mistakes to undermine his challenge.

The Dutch 21-year-old had dominated every free practice session and was set to become the youngest Formula One driver ever to start on pole position when Ricciardo swept in and grabbed it at the finish.

"It's a very unusual feeling right now", Hamilton said as he got out of his auto and celebrated.

"I was super angry", Verstappen told Sky F1 after his win.

"It feels very surreal".

'It wasn't won here, just throughout the season and a lot of hard work. "It is a great moment".

Nor did it have the pantomime of his 2015 title triumph - where Rosberg threw a cap at Hamilton in the Austin cool-down room - or the fightback from last to ninth in Mexico in 2017.

As much as Red Bull has laid the blame on engine partner Renault for its past failures, team boss Christian Horner underlined the performance achieved by the manufacturer in Mexico City's demanding environment.

Not Hamilton's best day - he was outperformed by team-mate Bottas all weekend, but Sochi provided another key moment as Mercedes nailed their colours to the Hamilton mast.

Hamilton slotted in behind the Dutchman, with pole-sitter Ricciardo dropping to third. Then it was Vettel's chance to do battle with The Honey Badger.

He nearly self-destructed on Lap 47, running too wide at the first turn and ruining his tyres as well as conceding P3 to Ricciardo.

"The start was the key", Verstappen said.

Max Verstappen claimed the victory, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen filling the podium.

The Red Bulls came in expecting to be strong in the high altitude at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

But in a high-altitude race of attrition, with tyre wear playing a huge part in the outcome, the champion was unable to match the pace and had no need to take any risks either. On lap 39, he whizzed past his rival for second.

"I was driving around the issues and in qualifying that's not what you want". Raw aggression and astute tyre-management after an opening lap clash with Vettel saw the Briton finish nearly nine seconds clear of Raikkonen, who had claimed pole with the fastest lap in F1 history.

As they roared down to Turn 1, Hamilton locked up his front-left tyre, and in a plume of white smoke, ran on to the grass. The 110,000 spectators crammed into this unique track, groaned and roared in equal measure.

Hamilton prepared for the floodlit Marina Bay street circuit test by launching his new fashion label in Shanghai and NY, but the frantic time-zone hopping schedule only served to energise the unstoppable Briton.

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