Lewis Hamilton is world champion for 5th time

Lewis Hamilton is world champion for 5th time

Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix for the second year in a row

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, Photo: Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton won the 2018 Formula 1 world championship at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver could only manage a fourth-place finish in Mexico but it was enough to wrap up his fifth world title with two rounds to spare, with Vettel second on a weekend he needed to win.

After his celebrations momentarily put on hold in Austin, the Briton headed into this weekend’s race with a 70-point cushion over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. He only needed to score five points to claim the championship.

Hamilton has now become just the third driver in F1 history to claim five or more world titles, joining an exclusive club featuring five-time winner Juan Manuel Fangio and all-time record holder Michael Schumacher.

Meanwhile Max Verstappen won the Mexican Grand Prix for the second year in a row.

The Red Bull driver claimed the lead at the start of the race, passing his pole-sitting team mate Daniel Ricciardo and resisting Hamilton, who made a quick start from third on the grid.

Hamilton faded rapidly during the race which allowed Verstappen to build a healthy lead. Both Mercedes drivers suffered high tyre degradation and fell behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris.

Sebastian Vettel emerged on the tail of Ricciardo’s second-placed car. But with 8 laps to go Ricciardo suffered another power unit failure. It forced him out and let Vettel by.

Ricciardo’s demise promoted Kimi Raikkonen to the final place on the podium. Hamilton, fourth, was the last driver on the lead lap. Team mate Valtteri Bottas used the Virtual Safety Car period which was triggered by Ricciardo to make a third pit stop. He ended the race on hyper-softs. In this way he used one of each type of tyre compound.

Nico Hulkenberg led the midfielders home in sixth place, two laps adrift, followed by Charles Leclerc. Stoffel Vandoorne scored his first points finish since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in eighth, ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Pierre Gasly.

Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez joined Ricciardo in retirement.