Lewis Hamilton secured his fifth Formula One world championship, joining an elite list. (Image credit: Twitter)
Lewis Hamilton held his nerve and entered an elite club in Formula One as he became the third five-time world champion in the sport following his fourth place finish in the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday.
With this title, Hamilton joins Juan Manuel Fangio as the other five-time champion, with only Michael Schumacher ahead of him with a record seven world titles. Heading into the race, Sebastian Vettel, his nearest rival, needed to win the race and hope Hamilton finished outside of the top seven if they had to take the title race to the next Grand Prix in Interlagos, Brazil.
However, it was an attritional race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with both Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggling for grip and brakes. The fourth place finish ensured Hamilton added to his list of titles which he had won in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The Mexico Grand Prix saw youngster Max Verstappen secure yet another win after his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who had qualified in pole position, retired for the eighth time this season.
Hamilton, who has been associated with Mercedes since he was 13, said he was overwhelmed by the title. As he crossed the line in fourth, he received a warm congratulations on the team radio from his good friend, Hollywood actor Will Smith.
“To complete this, when Fangio had done it with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling and it is very surreal to me at the moment. I just feel very humble, of course I dreamed about this but I never thought I'd be standing here as a five-time champion” Hamilton said.
With the driver’s championship already sealed, Hamilton and Bottas will be determined to give Mercedes the Constructor’s title as the action shifts to Interlagos, Brazil, the venue of Hamilton’s first world title in 2008.