Briton matches Juan Manuel Fangio with five F1 crowns despite finishing fourth in the Mexican Grand Prix
James Attwood, digital editor
28 October 2018

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

The Mercedes-AMG driver went into the event knowing that seventh place would secure the title, while Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel needed to win. Despite a strong start, Hamilton struggled with his tyres in the race and could finish only fourth.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen took a comfortable race win, while Vettel battled hard to take second. 

Hamilton said he had mixed feelings taking the title after what he admitted was a “horrible” race where he was just “trying to hold on and bring the car home”.

Feature: Autocar meets the racers who beat Lewis Hamilton

But he added: “I don’t really allow myself to be too emotional in public, but I feel very, very humbled by the whole experience. It’s something that I dreamed of, but never in a million years did I think I’d be standing here today as a five-time world champion.” 

Hamilton, 33, has now tied Juan Manuel Fangio for second place on the all-time list with five championships, behind only seven-time winner Michael Schumacher.

Opinion: is Lewis Hamilton Britain's greatest F1 racer? (from 2016)

Hamilton secured his first title driving for McLaren-Mercedes in 2008, in only his second season in the sport. He switched to the works Mercedes squad for 2013 and took his second title in 2014. He has won four of the past five titles and only narrowly missed out to team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG features a 355bhp turbocharged engine

AMG pops its hot hatchback cherry in singular, inimitable fashion, but do less expensive rivals like the Honda Civic Type R and Golf R deliver greater thrills?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

While Hamilton has benefitted from having a dominant car most years since 2014, he faced a strong challenge this year from Ferrari’s Vettel. The four-time champion led Hamilton by eight points after ten races of this year’s 21 races, but Hamilton then put in a stunning run of form, including four wins in a row – while Vettel was involved in a number of incidents – to build a substantial points lead.

Hamilton could have secured the title at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, but a strategy error meant he finished third behind Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen and Red Bull’s Verstappen.

Unusually, Hamilton has secured three of his five championships without finishing on the podium in the securing race, and his fourth place in Mexico ended a run of nine consecutive podiums. With two races remaining, Hamilton has secured nine race wins this season, giving him a total of 71 for his career. That puts him second on the all-time winners list, behind Schumacher, who has 91. 

Hamilton has also claimed 132 podium finishes and a record 81 pole positions. He has also secured a multi-year agreement to stay at Mercedes, giving him the opportunity to add to those totals in the years to come.

Read more

Feature: Autocar meets the racers who beat Lewis Hamilton

Opinion: is Lewis Hamilton Britain's greatest F1 racer? (from 2016)

In pictures: the defining races of Hamilton's F1 career

Hamilton reveals the Mercedes-AMG One

Join the debate

Comments
21

29 October 2018

The guys a hero in every way, so much so I named my second child after him in 2007.

Well done and looking forward to number 6 in 2019

 

29 October 2018

Not taking anything away from Lewis, but you also have to give credit to Vettel for getting so close in an inferior car.   Down on power and also with a problem with aerodynamics not giving front end grip, especially in dirty air.

 

Vettel pushed Lewis, and Lewis needs that push to get the best out of him.

 

In Lewis and Vettel we are watching two of the best drivers in F1.   It's an amazing time to be watching F1!

 

Sad to see Red Bull's treatment of Riccarido.   I follow their social media and as soon as he announced he was leaving the team they stopped promoting him.   The Instagram feed had Verstappen before qualifying, and then had to show Danial as he got pole!   If you thought there was a bias in the team beforehand...

 

29 October 2018
Symanski wrote:

Not taking anything away from Lewis, but you also have to give credit to Vettel for getting so close in an inferior car.   Down on power and also with a problem with aerodynamics not giving front end grip, especially in dirty air.

 

Vettel pushed Lewis, and Lewis needs that push to get the best out of him.

 

In Lewis and Vettel we are watching two of the best drivers in F1.   It's an amazing time to be watching F1!

 

Sad to see Red Bull's treatment of Riccarido.   I follow their social media and as soon as he announced he was leaving the team they stopped promoting him.   The Instagram feed had Verstappen before qualifying, and then had to show Danial as he got pole!   If you thought there was a bias in the team beforehand...

 

Ferrari had the better car this year. Thr Ferrari engine actually has more grunt than the Mercedes. Which is why all the other teams kept querying what Ferrari were doing with their batteries. They were by far the fastest car on the straights so it clearly can't have been down on power. You clearly haven't been paying much attention. Everyone in the sport knows that Ferrari had the beating of the Mercedes at most races this season but somehow tripped over themselves regularly. That has been the narrative so I'm not sure where you get the idea of Vettel being in an inferior car. Lewis won because both him and Mercedes did a better job and took their chances when the opportunity presented itself. 

29 October 2018
Juzoik wrote:

Ferrari had the better car this year. Thr Ferrari engine actually has more grunt than the Mercedes. Which is why all the other teams kept querying what Ferrari were doing with their batteries. They were by far the fastest car on the straights so it clearly can't have been down on power. You clearly haven't been paying much attention. Everyone in the sport knows that Ferrari had the beating of the Mercedes at most races this season but somehow tripped over themselves regularly. That has been the narrative so I'm not sure where you get the idea of Vettel being in an inferior car. Lewis won because both him and Mercedes did a better job and took their chances when the opportunity presented itself. 

 

I'm not saying that Ferrari didn't make advances with their car but it still wasn't as good as the Mercedes.   It had its moments, but while I think the aerodynamics were slippier than the Mercedes, the Mercedes used the superior engine to cover some of their deficiencies.   

 

There's a good story on Motorsport dot com about the problems the Ferrari has in dirty air.   Confirming what I thought much earlier in the season.

 

29 October 2018

The Ferrari engine has been better than the Mercedes this season as evidenced by their wins in Silverstone and Spa - the two power hungry circuits. They even took a commanding pole position in Monza. You don't win those based on aero. Redbull would've had something to say about that. Ferrari and Seb tripped over themselves all throughout the season. 

Yes Vettel pushed Lewis but i'm pretty sure i watched the Ferrari blow past Lewis in Spa and Silverstone easily with all the pundits saying Mercedes needed to find some extra perfomance. What happened was Ferrari introduced new upgrades that didn't work on the car. They took those off in Austin and suddenly the car is winning races again. Pretty sure there are several articles on Autosport .com detailing these. None of these F1 cars like following in 'dirty air' so that's not unique to Ferrari

 

I'm not saying that Ferrari didn't make advances with their car but it still wasn't as good as the Mercedes.   It had its moments, but while I think the aerodynamics were slippier than the Mercedes, the Mercedes used the superior engine to cover some of their deficiencies.   

 

There's a good story on Motorsport dot com about the problems the Ferrari has in dirty air.   Confirming what I thought much earlier in the season.

 

[/quote]

29 October 2018

I couldn't agree more. A british sportsman absolutely dominating a very difficult sport, with an essentially british team.

He is up there with the all-time greats and the best british racing driver ever, bar none.

Such a shame he isn't getting more mainstream recognition; the England football team get to the WC semis and it's like we've won it!

Well done to Lewis and the Mercedes-AMG team; time to wrap up the constructors title too.

29 October 2018

I totally agree, the coverage of Lewis wining a 5th title has been sparse and below par for such a momentous acheivement, both in a sport loved in the UK and as an ambasador for British sportsman. Wonder why...? 

Super job Lewis!! Congratulations! 

 

macaroni wrote:

I couldn't agree more. A british sportsman absolutely dominating a very difficult sport, with an essentially british team.

He is up there with the all-time greats and the best british racing driver ever, bar none.

Such a shame he isn't getting more mainstream recognition; the England football team get to the WC semis and it's like we've won it!

Well done to Lewis and the Mercedes-AMG team; time to wrap up the constructors title too.

29 October 2018

  Yep, out of this years field he was Mr Consistant, Vettel will rue the blunders he made, his Car didn’t lose him the title shot he did all on his own,nice to see Ferrari as a team finally giving Mercedes some opposition, Redbull as ever came back from a lack lustre start to the season with some great finishes except for Ricciardo with seven DNF’s,and finally this year after 113 starts Kimi won a Race, a perfect wind down towards retirement this time maybe?, on the whole the Championship so far has been a little more watchable, and I have to say this....well done Lewis Hamilton, Champion for the fifth time, Britain’s best by a long way.

289

29 October 2018

....well deserved....and potentially many more years in his career to come!

29 October 2018

Nice to see such positive comments here, which are thoroughly deserved by Lewis Hamilton.  However, it is incredibly depressing to see the number of negative and even hateful comments elsewhere, for example on the BBC Sport website.  I don't know what more a five-time F1 World Champion would have to do to win these detractors around.  One can only draw the obvious conclusion about their motivation...

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week