Lewis Hamilton Clinches Fifth F1 Title At Mexican Grand Prix
01 November, 2018, 14:44 | Author: Lora Ball
Vettel's display in Mexico was probably his best since the summer break, as he passed both Daniel Ricciardo and Hamilton en route to second place.
It goes without saying that Hamilton's championship charge has been aided by Sebastian Vettel's implosion, and, at the last count, the Ferrari driver's nine significant mistakes this year.
For the second year in succession, Vettel has watched Hamilton sew up the title with two rounds to spare.
However, in the 13 races since, he hasn't even been able to bag a podium, and is now 70 points behind Verstappen in the drivers' standings.
The 2018 season has been defined by the battle between Hamilton and Vettel and their Mercedes and Ferrari teams.
But, just as in Mexico City previous year, Hamilton, who needed to finish only seventh to be sure of the title, did enough to take the spoils, clinching his fourth championship in five quite remarkable seasons.
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"Congratulations also to Lewis on securing his fifth Formula 1 World Championship which is quite an achievement and puts him amongst the sports' elite". "The vehicle, I'll let Gasly (his replacement at Red Bull next season) drive it, I'm done with it".
Hamilton's title triumph was watched by a sell-out 135,000 crowd at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with the Mexican race proving a runaway hit since it returned to the calendar in 2015.
His two wins in China and Monaco begged for greater things in 2018, with both races among the opening six events of the season. None was bigger than Vettel crashing out of the lead in a rainy German Grand Prix to let Hamilton win.
"It's just gutting for him because he had driven a great race on old tyres, holding off Sebastian [Vettel] before that tell-tale sign of smoke".
But a Ferrari resurgence of late only worsens the frustration of a championship lost.
A four-time champion himself, Vettel opened the season with a strong charge of two straight victories only to see Mercedes snatch wins while their own auto faded for a long stretch. Vettel might have won if not for a three-spot starting grid penalty for driving too fast under a red flag in practice. Hamilton was third in Texas and struggled with his vehicle all weekend in Mexico City.
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Vettel portrayed a crestfallen figure on Sunday night, and there can be little denying that the reputation of a driver, one which can boast 52 wins and four championships, has taken a severe battering.
"He drove superb all year".
"Mainly congratulated him and asked him to keep pushing for next year, I need him at his best to fight him again".
The rivalry within the Red Bull ranks has not escaped Vettel's attention either.
I really do aspire to be like him as a strong black man and as a father and as a human being, doing what he did in the hard times and with the little that he had, I think that's testament to where we are. "The pressure that he would be under. that's a lot to ride on one's shoulders".
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