Lewis Hamilton wins historic fifth F1 title at Mexican GP

Oct 30, 2018, 08:13 IST | AFP

Mercedes driver Lewis joins Formula One great Juan Manuel Fangio to own five world championship titles; finishes fourth in Mexican Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins historic fifth F1 title at Mexican GP
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning his fifth Formula One drivers' championship at the Mexico GP on Sunday. Pic/AFP

Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth drivers' world championship on Sunday to draw level with Juan Manuel Fangio in the Formula One record books when he finished fourth behind a victorious Max Verstappen in the Mexican Grand Prix.

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. He was adding the 2018 crown to his championship wins in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017. The Briton's, 33, only remaining championship rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who needed a victory, with Hamilton outside the top seven, to keep his hopes alive, finished second.

'Strange feeling'
He celebrated by executing doughnut wheel spins for the cheering crowd before leaping out of his car and into the arms of his team. After being congratulated by Vettel, Hamilton said: "It's a very strange feeling right now." After surviving what turned into a battle of attrition at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez he added: "It was a horrible race... I really don't know what happened. We were struggling both Valtteri [Bottas] and I and we had to just hang on and bring the car home.

"I've been with Mercedes since I was 13 and to complete this, when Fangio had done it with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling and it is very surreal to me at the moment. I just feel humble, of course I dreamed about this but I never thought I'd be standing here as a five-time champion."

'Schumi is the greatest'
Hamilton deflected all suggestions that he might be the greatest F1 driver of all time, saying that seven-time champion Michael Schumacher remains the man who most deserves that label. "Firstly, I could never personally classify myself as the best," said Hamilton.

"Obviously, within myself, I know my abilities and where I stand, but ultimately, as my dad always told me since I was eight years old — he said 'do your talking on the track'. So I just try to let my results and the results from the things that I do outside of my sport, hopefully, also contribute to that. So people can hopefully create a decent opinion. "But Michael's still quite far ahead in race wins so you have to say he is still the GOAT (greatest of all time)."

F1's top title winners
. Michael Schumacher: 7
. Juan Manuel Fangio: 5
. Lewis Hamilton: 5
. Sebastian Vettel: 4
. Alain Prost: 4
. Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham: 3

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