Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Sebastian Vettel gracious in defeat, congratulates Lewis Hamilton on fifth F1 title

Hamilton says Red Bull are 'out of reach' Dan Ricciardo Delivers One Of The Greatest One-Liners After Claiming Pole Position At The Mexico Grand Prix
Isaac Mcdaniel | 29 October, 2018, 10:01

British racer Lewis Hamilton secured his fifth Formula 1 World Championship title - and his fourth in the last five years - with a fourth place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton travelled to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez knowing he had the opportunity to go level with Juan Manuel Fangio on five titles.

Mercedes have won every single championship since turbo hybrid engines were introduced into F1 in 2014, which raises the real possibility that Hamilton could soon match Schumacher's all-time record of both championships and race wins.

Although Vettel's championship defeat has been a foregone conclusion for the last few races, the Ferrari driver said it was still hard to accept his fate in Mexico.

Though Vettel took the race victory and extended his slender lead in the overall standings, Hamilton was at least able to claim a crucial 18 points as the 33-year-old staged a sensational recovery to finish as runner-up.

"It's a unusual feeling right now", Hamilton said immediately after the race. "I try to visualise how that could like down the straight [opens arms out wide] and through the first corner, I just hope we come out of it with two cars intact". "So I'm very happy with how it's gone".

"I am very happy with this win", he admitted.

Four-time champion Vettel heaped praise on his rival.

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Hamilton went into the race needing only a seventh place finish to clinch the championship, and eventually came home fourth behind race victor Max Verstappen, with Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen completing the top three.

"He did a superb job all year, " Vettel said. "Ultimately that was the goal, I won the championship previous year and thought how the hell am I going to improve?"

Hamilton started a trend, with Ricciardo and Verstappen following suit on laps 12 and 13.

"We think I had a small issue with hydraulics at the end but we haven't been able to check the auto yet". "From that moment on we wanted to make sure that mine couldn't retire, even if that meant to turn down the power on the engine, just to be on the safe side". Another error in qualifying at Suzuka left the Ferrari driver starting in eighth on the grid, seven places behind pole man Hamilton.

German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of his Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz and the two Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson.

After finishing second in Mexico, Vettel sought out Hamilton to offer his congratulations face to face.

"It's too early to say it's just going to be a race between each other, as nice as that would be", Ricciardo said.

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