British driver Lewis Hamilton clinched his fourth world title at the Mexican Grand Prix despite a not so stellar ninth place finish after a clash with rival Sebastian Vettel.
By SportBrief Reporter
Hamilton became the most successful British Formula 1 driver in history as he moved one championship clear of Sir Jackie Stewart after winning his fourth world title in Mexico.
He now joins Vettel and Frenchman Alain Prost on four world titles and sits behind only Michael Schumacher, the all-time record holder on seven, and Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio’s five.
The Mercedes driver got off to a bad start, sufferering a puncture when he was hit by the German’s Ferrari on the first lap with the incident also breaking Vettel’s front wing.
After the incident, Vettel made better progress back through the field than Hamilton, climbing up to fourth place, but he needed to finish second to keep the championship alive.
But with Vettel finishing 5th and Hamilton taking ninth position, victory was ensured for the Brit as he put his hands to his helmet when he crossed the line, slowing the car down to a crawl as he sought to take in his achievement on the slowing down lap.
The race was eventually won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who dominated from the front after taking the lead at the first corner, a move that led to the collision between Hamilton and Vettel.
“Wow. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who came out to see us,” said Hamilton after the race.
“The Mexican fans I think are the best around the world. I did everything I could. I had a good start and I don’t really know what happened at turn three but I gave him plenty of room, but I tried my hardest to come back.”