Lewis Hamilton fifth title: 'I don't know if it'll ever kick in'

Vettel getting less flack for mistakes- Verstappen			Image by Hone  LAT
Vettel getting less flack for mistakes- Verstappen Image by Hone LAT
Author

29 October, 2018

LEWIS HAMILTON last night confirmed his place as a fully fledged Formula One legend after claiming his fifth world title in Mexico.

The Red Bulls came in expecting to be strong in the high altitude at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

With the lead Mercedes out of the picture the race boiled down to a Red Bull vs Vettel fight, with Ferrari going aggressive by pitting Vettel for a fresh set of ultrasofts.

The pole was only the third of Ricciardo's career and both of those previous ones came in the tight and twisty confines of Monaco.

"A very, very surreal moment, " Hamilton said of his championship.

For Fernando Alonso his final flying lap was particularly important - the Spaniard had had his first time deleted by the stewards for exceeding track limits, which he blamed on his McLaren team for sending him out too close behind teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Pilot "Red bull" Daniel Ricardo became the victor of the qualifying heats at the Grand Prix of Mexico. Behind, Vettel, knowing that he had to win to stand any chance of stopping Hamilton, he held off a fast-starting Valtteri Bottas, the pair even banging wheels at Turn 3, both escaping without damage. He's leaving the team for Renault in 2019.

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It was an admirable effort from Vettel to stave off the inevitable and keep the title race alive - just about - heading to Brazil for the penultimate race of the season. Both drivers were reprimanded for risky racing moves and team tensions were high.

But the 21-year-old endured no such problem in the closing laps of a race he led for the most part, having built up a cushion of nearly 15 seconds over Vettel.

Ricciardo had to retire on lap 62 after smoke was seen coming from the back of his vehicle - his eighth retirement for the season.

"Our priority now has to be to try and convert these fantastic grid positions into a haul of points tomorrow", Horner said. My fans have been fantastic, my family have been so supportive, but most importantly Mercedes and my team, they have been the most incredible unit. The way Hamilton is driving at the moment, it seems more than possible that he could go on to surpass the German.

It was no surprise that a Red Bull was on pole, given their practice form, but it was a shock which driver achieved it.

"Well, you saw what happened a year ago with the red auto behind", he said, responding to a question about his thinking for the start. "Everyone is going to be barreling into turn one". Verstappen went on to dominate the race from the front while Ricciardo retired with a hydraulics failure as he was running in second place with ten laps remaining. If there's an opening and an opportunity to take it, I'll take it.


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