Lewis Hamilton seals his fifth Formula One world championship
The British driver only had to finish seventh or higher at the Mexican Grand Prix
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton gets on his car before the start. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/Reuters
Lewis Hamilton secured his fifth Formula One world championship at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday night after he finished fourth. The British driver only had to finish seventh or higher in the race, while rival Sebastian Vettel had to win to stand any chance of taking the title fight on to Brazil but came second.
Hamilton took his first F1 title for McLaren in 2008 in ony his second season but was not champion again until 2014, a year after he had switched to his current team Mercedes, a move many questioned at the time at the time but has since proved to be key to his domination.
He won 11 races in 2014, in a long-fought battle with Nico Rosberg, which was only decided with victory for the Mercedes driver in the final race of the season. Hamilton was able to secure his third world title the following year with three races still remaining to equal the record of the late Ayrton Senna’s three championships. Hamilton won his fourth title in 2017, a year after finishing runner-up to Nico Rosberg, in the process joining Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Vettel as drivers with four or more world titles to their name.
The champion is 19 wins behind Schumacher’s record of 91 grand prix wins and Hamilton has indicated he has no intention of easing off his quest for more honours, stating earlier this week: “I’ve still got more to do. There are so many different things that happened in that time and I waited a long time to get the second,” he said. “I could easily have stayed where I was and I wouldn’t be sitting here with the ones I have now. It’s been interesting, the journey and the different decisions I have taken, but I am very grateful for the route I have been on. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the position I am in but I feel like I have quite a lot left to do.”