Lewis Hamilton picked up a puncture after being clipped by title rival Sebastian Vettel, who had already suffered wing damage after a clash with Max Verstappen
Verstappen cruised to victory in Mexico
Elfyn Evans scored his first-ever World Rally Championship victory on home ground
Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton clinched his fourth world championship in the Mexican Grand Prix, despite only finishing ninth after a clash with title rival Sebastian Vettel at the first corner. Max Verstappen took a dominant win for Red Bull.
British racer Hamilton entered the event knowing that a fifth place finish would secure him the title, while Vettel had to finish second or better to keep his hopes alive.
Vettel had started the race from pole position in his Ferrari, with Verstappen alongside. The two battled for the lead heading into the first turn and clashed, allowing Hamilton to get a run on both. The Brit passed Vettel around the outside in the chicane, but the German slid wide and clipped Hamilton’s Mercedes, puncturing its rear tyre.
Hamilton had to limp back to the pits for new tyres, emerging in last place, and even found himself lapped by Verstappen. He then slowly worked his way up the order to take ninth place.
Vettel was also forced to pit for a new wing, and fought up through the field, but he could only make his way to fourth. That meant Hamilton clinched his fourth title, tying the number won by Alain Prost and setting a new benchmark for British drivers. Only seven-time winner Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio (five) have won more championships.
"I had a good start, and I don't really know what happened at turn three, but I gave him [Vettel] room," said Hamilton. "It wasn't the kind of race that I wanted, but I never gave up."
Verstappen’s victory was his second of the season, and the third of his career. Valtteri Bottas was a distant second in his Mercedes, with Kimi Räikkönen third for Ferrari.
World Rally Championship: Wales Rally GB
Elfyn Evans became the first Welsh driver to win the Wales Rally GB, capping an incredible weekend for the British M-Sport squad.
The 28-year-old from Dolgellau, with co-driver Daniel Barritt, dominated the event in his Ford Fiesta WRC from the moment the event moved into the Welsh forests on Friday morning. He built up a lead of almost a minute, then controlled his pace in the final stages, finishing 37.3 seconds clear of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 WRC).
It was Evans's first World Rally Championship win, and made him the first British winner of Rally GB since Richard Burns in 2000.
Evans’s M-Sport team-mate Sébastien Ogier finished third to secure his fifth consecutive championship title – but his first since switching to the privateer outfit after Volkswagen quit the sport ahead of this season.
With Estonian Ott Tänak finishing sixth in his Fiesta, M-Sport also wrapped up the manufacturers’ championship, beating the full works outfits from Hyundai, Citroën and Toyota. It was the first time Malcolm Wilson’s Cumbrian outfit had taken the title since 2007, when it ran the works Ford squad.