Hamilton world champ; Verstappen wins raceposted in F128 | 10 | 2018

    LEWIS HAMILTON CLINCHED his fifth Formula 1 World Championship when he crossed the line fourth in the Mexican Grand Prix. Hamilton’s achievement sees him match the five titles won by the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio. (Related: Raikkonen wins USGP as Hamilton forced to wait)

    While Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dominated the race from start to finish, the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished second and third respectively, Immediately after the race, title rival Vettel congratulated Hamilton on claiming the championship. (Related: Hamilton dominates Japan GP)

    Hamilton started third on the grid and catapulted passed the Red Bull of pole sitter Daniel Ricciardo off the line, but neither he nor Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas were competitive on race pace as they struggled to make their tyres last.


    Ultimately, fourth place was enough for Hamilton to seal the title, but it was his worst result since July's Austrian Grand Prix. He was almost lapped by race winner Max Verstappen.

    "It was a horrible race," Hamilton admitted afterwards. And the 33-year-old Brit added that he couldn't wrap his head around becoming a five-time world champion.


    “Honestly, it’s very hard to realise it at the moment,” he said. “It’s something I dreamed of, but I never in a million years thought I’d be standing here today a five-time World Champion. I never knew that was going to happen and I am just so grateful to everyone who has helped me be here.

    “I want to say a big thank you to my team. Bono said on the radio – the Championship wasn’t won here, it was won through a lot of hard work and through a lot of races. So, I am so grateful for all the hard work back home, for Petronas, for all our partners and ultimately for Mercedes.


    “I have been with Mercedes since I was 13, so to achieve the same thing Fangio had done with Mercedes so many years ago, is an incredible feeling and very surreal at the moment.

    “The race itself today was pretty horrible. I got a great start and was really working my way up, but then we were really struggling with the tyres, both Valtteri and I. I was just trying to hold on and bring the car home.

    “Honestly, I am just so grateful. To my family back home, I love you, thank you for all the support. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the hard work my dad did and my family. This is a very humbling experience.”


    Hamilton had gone into the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez knowing he only needed to finish seventh to secure the title, and did not need to finish at all if Vettel failed to win.

    As the race progressed, it was clear neither of the Mercedes had the tyres or pace to fight for victory, to the grand prix became a straight battle between Red Bull and Ferrari.


    But just as it looked like Red Bull would claim a 1-2 finish, with 10 laps remaining Riccardo was forced to retire from second place after smoke emerged from the rear of the Renault-powered car. The Aussie carried straight on at Turn 1, stopped and suffered his eighth retirement of the season.

    Verstappen’s engine didn’t suffer the same fate and he cruised to his second victory of the season, ahead of the two Ferraris, with the two Mercedes crossing the line in fourth and fifth.


    Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth for the second race in succession as the French manufacturer  secured best-of-the-rest honours behind the leading three teams.

    Sauber's Charles Leclerc finished seventh, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren. The final two points-scorers were the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly.

    F1 — Mexican Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (Result):

    1. Max Verstappen NED Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 71 laps

    2. Sebastian Vettel GER Scuderia Ferrari + 17.316s

    3. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari + 49.914s

    4. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport + 78.738s

    5. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport + 1 lap

    6. Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault Sport Formula One Team + 2 laps

    7. Charles Leclerc MON Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team + 2 laps

    8. Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren F1 Team + 2 laps

    9. Marcus Ericsson SWE Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team + 2 laps

    10. Pierre Gasly FRA Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda + 2 laps

    11. Esteban Ocon FRA Racing Point Force India F1 Team + 2 laps

    12. Lance Stroll CAN Williams Martini Racing + 2 laps

13. Sergey Sirotkin RUS Williams Martini Racing + 2 laps

    14. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team + 2 laps

    15. Brendon Hartley NZL Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda + 2 laps

    16. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas F1 Team + 3 laps

    Did Not Finish:

    Daniel Ricciardo AUS Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 61 laps

    Sergio Perez MEX Racing Point Force India F1 Team 38 laps

    Carlos Sainz Jr. ESP Renault Sport Formula One Team 28 laps

    Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren F1 Team 3 laps


    Related: Scot Sandy Mitchell bags third in Euro GT3 Silver Cup

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on twitter.com/Scotcars

    Jim McGill

    Photographs: Copyright MercedesAMGF1

User Comments

Login or register to post comments.