LEWIS Hamilton became only the third Formula One driver in history to capture a fifth world title as Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix.
The 33-year-old Briton’s only remaining championship rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who needed a victory, with Hamilton outside the top seven, to keep his hopes alive, finished second.
Hamilton’s success – the third time he has taken the title without finishing on the race podium – elevated him to a supreme club alongside Fangio with only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher ahead of him.
it was a tough race but Lewis Hamilton got the desired result. Picture: AFP.Source:AFP
He was adding the 2018 crown to his championship wins in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
He celebrated by executing ‘doughnut’ wheel spins for the cheering crowd before leaping out of his car and into the arms of his team.
After being congratulated by Vettel, Hamilton said: “It’s a very strange feeling, a very humbling experience. To complete this when Fangio did it as well, it’s a very surreal feeling.” ““That’s how you do it – that’s how you drive, Lewis,” said Hollywood film star Will Smith on Mercedes team radio after Hamilton took the chequered flag.
Hamilton, who started third on the grid, struggled with chronic tyre-wear after making a strong start in his Mercedes and settled for a cautious cruise to the title without a podium finish.
Verstappen, upstaged by his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying on Saturday, came home 17.108 seconds ahead of Vettel after the luckless Australian pole-sitter retired with nine laps remaining.
Donuts for a championSource:Getty Images
A puff of smoke signalled an engine failure and his eighth ‘Did Not Finish’ (DNF) of the season while his 21-year-old Dutch tyro team-mate secured a repeat of his 2017 triumph, his second win this season and the fifth of his career.
Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen came home third ahead of Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault ahead of Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren, Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber and Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso.
For Ferrari, it was a first double podium success in Mexico since 1990 with Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell.
Leading world title winners after Lewis Hamilton won his fifth championship:
1. Michael Schumacher (GER): 7 1994 (Benetton-Ford), 1995 (Benetton-Renault), 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 (Ferrari)
2. Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG, 1911-1995): 5 1951 (Alfa Romeo), 1954 (Maserati/Mercedes-Benz), 1955 (Mercedes-Benz), 1956 (Ferrari) and 1957 (Maserati) . Lewis Hamilton (GBR): 5 2008 (McLaren-Mercedes), 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 (Mercedes)
4. Sebastian Vettel (GER): 4 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (Red Bull-Renault) . Alain Prost (FRA): 4 1985, 1986 (McLaren-Tag Porsche), 1989 (McLaren-Honda) and 1993 (Williams-Renault)
6. Ayrton Senna (BRA, 1960-1994): 3 1988, 1990 and 1991 (McLaren-Honda) . Nelson Piquet (BRA): 3 1981 (Brabham-Ford), 1983 (Brabham-BMW) and 1987 (Williams-Honda) . Niki Lauda (AUT): 3 1975, 1977 (Ferrari) and 1984 (McLaren-Tag Porsche) . Jackie Stewart (GBR): 3 1969 (Matra-Ford), 1971 and 1973 (Tyrrell-Ford) . Jack Brabham (AUS, 1926-2014): 3 1959, 1960 (Cooper-Climax) and 1966 (Brabham)
Fourth place finisher Lewis HamiltonSource:Getty Images
1. Max Verstappen (NED/RBR) 1hr 38min 28.000sec
2. Sebastian Vettel (GER/FER) +17.316
3. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/FER) 49.914
4. Lewis Hamilton (ENG/MER) 1min 18.738
5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/MER) 1 lap
6. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/REN) 2 laps
7. Charles Leclerc (MON/SAU) 2 laps
8. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/MCL) 2 laps
9. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/SAU) 2 laps
10. Pierre Gasly (FRA/STR) 2 laps
11. Esteban Ocon (FRA/RAC) 2 laps
12. Brendon Hartley (NZL/STR) 2 laps
13. Lance Stroll (CAN/WIL) 2 laps
14. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/WIL) 2 laps
15. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/HAA) 2 laps
16. Romain Grosjean (FRA/HAA)
3 laps Not classified:
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/RBR)
11 laps Sergio Perez (MEX/RAC) 32 laps
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/REN) 43 laps
Fernando Alonso (ESP/MCL) 68 laps
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Originally published as Hamilton claims fifth F1 world title
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