Mexican Grand Prix Race Report: Verstappen wins but Hamilton clinches fourth F1 title
Lewis Hamilton wanted to win the title in style – with a race win. But it was hardly a flourish for him. His start was hampered when he suffered a puncture when hit by the Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari on the third corner of the first lap, the incident also broke Vettel's front wing. Both drivers immediately dropped to the back of the grid with Vettel in 18th and Hamilton in 20th. Vettel from there on needed to end second to keep the championship alive. But with no crashes and incidents to trigger a safety car, he could only manage fourth. While Hamilton managed to drive up to ninth, and became Britain’s most decorated ever driver with four world titles.
Hamilton now joins Frenchman Alain Prost and Vettel on four world titles, only Michael Schumacher on seven and Juan Manuel Fangio on five have more.
The race was won by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who dominated the race from the front. His life was made easy after the collision between Hamilton and Vettel. Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen who finished third and fourth respectively were never able to challenge the Dutchman.
During the race, Hamilton questioned Vettel’s tactics and asked his team, “Did he hit me deliberately?”
Hamilton was struggling to get past Carlos Sainz for 18th place at the start, but a good drive from there on saw him up to 10th place after a round of pit stops. Then he got into a late scrap between Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso. Fernando Alonso in his McLaren-Honda defended magnificently against Hamilton, but in the end the Mercedes-powered car was just superior than the Honda-powered car.
Vettel on the other hand was driving superbly, but after he got up to fourth the gap between him and third place Raikkonen was 23 seconds, hearing this from his team, Vettel replied, “Mamma mia. I think that's a bit too much."
Further down the grid, Sergio Perez finished seventh in his home race. While three Renault-powered cars were unable to finish the race due to engine problems. Nico Hulkenberg also failed to finish the race after the batteries in his Renault had problems.