Lewis Hamilton was crowned World champion while Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday.
Hamilton finished fourth to earn just enough points to seal the 2018 Drivers’ World title with two races remaining in the Formula 1 season, while Verstappen took the chequered flag for his second win of the year.
Hamilton claimed his fifth Formula 1 Drivers’ championship and became one of only three drivers who have won five or more championships, after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher. Verstappen, meanwhile, registered his fifth win of his career, and second in a row in Mexico.
Hamilton started the race from third, right behind pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo, while Verstappen was in second.
The Dutchman had a brilliant start and immediately took the lead, followed by Red Bull teammate Ricciardo, Hamilton in his Mercedes and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen was flawless in the race and was mostly alone in front as he finished in one hour 38 minutes 28.851 seconds. He was a comfortable 17.316 seconds ahead of Vettel, who managed to overtake Hamilton on lap 39. With Ricciardo retiring on lap 62 with what appeared to be engine trouble, Vettel moved up to second and was eventually joined on the podium by Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
Behind Hamilton was Valtteri Bottas in fifth, Nico Hulkenberg of Renault in sixth, Charles Leclerc of Sauber in seventh and Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren in eighth. Rounding out the points finishers were Marcus Ericsson of Sauber in ninth and Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso in the 10th.
With the result, Hamilton improved to 358 points as he leads the Drivers’ Championship by 64 points from Vettel – an unassailable lead with two races remaining in the 2018 season. Verstappen was fifth with 216 points.
Hamilton commented after the race: “Honestly, it’s very hard to realise it at the moment. 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.
“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.”
Verstappen said: “Today I am really happy, and Sunday is the best day to be happy. I didn’t sleep much last night and found today’s race build up a long one, but after the lights went out my feelings soon changed.
“Once ahead I could just settle in and concentrate on my own race, especially as Lewis looked to be struggling with grip. I made sure I matched his lap times to maintain the lead.
“The podium, like last year is amazing. To have the DJ and the crowd coming down from the stands is really cool, two years in a row makes it even better. Mexico always has so many passionate fans which makes me love coming back here every year.
“Also congratulations to Lewis on his fifth title, he has been the most consistently strong driver all year and deserves the championship, I’m sure it feels very special. Hopefully I can challenge him for it soon.”
The Formula 1 season continues with the penultimate race of the season: the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 11. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 25 marks the season-finale.