Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Hamilton claims fifth F1 world title as Verstappen wins in Mexico

Hamilton claims fifth F1 world title as Verstappen wins in Mexico

Hamilton's success - the third time he has taken the title without finishing on the race podium - elevated him to a supreme club alongside Fangio with only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher ahead of him. I felt comfortable going into qualifying but I soon experienced similar issues that I had felt in FP2, the rear was locking while I was off throttle during cornering. It hasn't kicked in right now.

"Just things are happening on Sunday which I've got no more explanation for".

Reflecting on his season Hamilton added: "It has been the toughest year physically, mentally and personally with everything I'm committed to, but I have fantastic support".

Hamilton's pace was a big improvement on Friday, where he was fifth and seventh in the two sessions, but Mercedes were far from happy after a session that saw drivers wait for the track to dry after earlier rain.

His hard work was in vain, however, as the Spaniard could only manage 12th fastest between the two Force India cars of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, both deciding to use the slower ultrasoft in Q2 and will start 11th and 13th as a result. It is not over for me. But I didn't pay attention in maths so I didn't check the numbers, and you try to hang in there as long as you can.

Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth for the second race in a row as Renault secured best-of-the-rest honours behind the leading three teams.

"It really depends what position I'm in", he said.

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"I'm just so grateful for everyone who has helped me be here - the guys here at the garage, the guys at the factory who have helped me raise the bar and lift this cup. I need him at his best to fight him again". I told him number five is something incredible. "Yes, we had our chances and we used some of them but some we did not and in the end we weren't good enough". I was really working my way up.

Hamilton won titles with McLaren in 2008 and with Mercedes in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Hamilton is on 71 victories; Schumacher won 91.

Asked later what he said to his rival, Vettel revealed that he congratulated Hamilton and gave him some instructions for 2019.

"Absolutely, it's definitely been the best year", he said. "It's something that of course I've dreamed of, but never in a million years thought I'd be standing here today as a five-time world champion", he said.

"Naturally I am gonna keep racing". I want to thank the fans and I want to thank my team. I wasn't expecting to get as high as we got.

And Mercedes had a pre-recorded message from another celebrity to once again mark the 33-year-old Brit's achievement.

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