Currently reading: F1 2018: Hamilton secures fifth world championship title
Briton matches Juan Manuel Fangio with five F1 crowns despite finishing fourth in the Mexican Grand Prix

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.

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.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Daniel Joseph 30 October 2018

Hamilton vs Vettel

One of the Sky commentators remarked on Sunday that Vettel had never won an F1 Grand Prix after starting from lower than 3rd on the grid.  This is true, even when the Red Bull car was easily the fastest on the grid in the pre-hybrid era. Hamilton has regularly won races from 4th, 5th and 6th position and, famously, from 14th in this year's German Grand Prix.  I know who I judge to be the better racer.

voyager12 29 October 2018

Britain's Best F1 driver...

Yes. But also a lucky one, ever since his switch to the team with the best car, Mercedes. The difference with former team mate Jenson Button wasn't that big as far as I can remember. On the battlefield, Napoleon liked his generals to be lucky rather than good. 

si73 29 October 2018

voyager12 wrote:

voyager12 wrote:

Yes. But also a lucky one, ever since his switch to the team with the best car, Mercedes. The difference with former team mate Jenson Button wasn't that big as far as I can remember. On the battlefield, Napoleon liked his generals to be lucky rather than good. 

You're right, Button did prove himself, as Hamiltons team mate, to be his equal, Button is a very under-rated driver. Lewis is totally deserving of his 5th world title and he deserves to be a sporting hero, yes his car is one of the best, Ferrari definitely started the season with the better car, but that is always going to be the case, you need the combination of the best driver and the best car to win world championships. Congratulations to Lewis, I've always been a fan as I have of all the british drivers, keep hoping Paul Di resta will get another go.

As for the haters, stuff em.

Speedraser 29 October 2018

Big congrats to Lewis --

Big congrats to Lewis -- absolutely well-deserved. 

Regarding why some don't give him the credit he deserves -- there are a LOT of stupid people...