29 Oct 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins fifth Formula One title

10:36 am on 29 October 2018

Britain's Lewis Hamilton celebrated his fifth Formula One world championship title with two races to spare by finishing fourth in a Mexican Grand Prix won by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the winners podium.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the winners podium. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Mercedes driver Hamilton equalled the five titles of late 1950s Argentinean great Juan Manuel Fangio with only seven times champion Michael Schumacher ahead of them.

Ferrari's rival Sebastian Vettel took second place.

Hamilton, 33, had needed to finish seventh at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit to be sure of the title while four times champion Vettel had to win to have any hope of denying the Briton.

"That's how you do it, just like that," Hamilton heard Hollywood actor Will Smith say over the radio at the chequered flag, ignoring the fact that Hamilton had a far from comfortable afternoon at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third, meaning the constructors' championship remained open at least until the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks' time with Mercedes' lead trimmed.

"It wasn't won here, just throughout the season and a lot of hard work," said Hamilton after doing smoking 'donuts' at the finish of an unusual race without a Mercedes driver on the podium.

"To complete this when Fangio did it with Mercedes is an incredible feeling and very surreal."

In a nice sporting gesture, the Briton hugged Vettel and then ran back to the Mercedes garage to embrace his team mates one by one.

New Zealand's Brendon Hartley finished 14th in his Toro Rosso.