Lewis Hamilton Crowned 5-Time World Champion After Fourth Place Finish in Mexican GP
Lewis Hamilton has become just the third driver in Formula 1 history to win the Driver’s World Championship five times, after coming in fourth at the Mexican GP. Of course, Hamilton would have wanted to win it outright, by claiming victory in the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took the chequered flag for his second win of the season.
In winning his fifth world title, Hamilton matches Argentine Juan Manual Fangio’s haul, who coincidentally won two world titles with Mercedes. Only Michael Schumacher stands higher on the list at seven wins.
The 33-year-old is in his 12th season in Formula 1 and at the same age as Schumacher when he won his fifth title with Ferrari in 2002. If everything pans out as it has been doing in the last five years, by having a reliable car and a winning formula, Hamilton could very well surpass Schumacher’s record and create history by adding a few more titles.
“It’s a very strange feeling right now. It wasn’t won here, it was won through a lot of hard work through many races,” said Hamilton. “I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13 so to complete this – Fangio had done it with Mercedes – it’s an incredible feeling and very surreal at the moment.”
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Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, said, “Usually, we don’t acknowledge greatness until someone’s career is over, but we need to take a moment to recognise its presence – Lewis has now equalled Fangio’s record and there aren’t many like him out there!”
Hamilton is eager and ready to conquer the Formula world in years to come. He said, “It’s definitely my best year. And that’s the goal. When I won the championship last year, I was like, ‘how am I going to improve? How can I be fitter? How can I be more focused? How can I be a better all-round driver?'”
The only other driver on the grid that who was capable of challenging Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, said, “He drove superb all year and was the better one of us two. Number five is something incredible. I asked him to keep pushing for next year and be at his best to fight him again.”
Lewis Hamilton is congratulated by Sebastian Vettel. Images credit : Getty Images
Hamilton has maintained a level of excellence not only way out of reach of his only real rival, Vettel, but at a consistency he himself has not achieved before.
The scale of the accomplishment becomes clearer when you consider that he has brought the season to a premature close, with two races still to go, despite not having the fastest car the majority of the time.
The measure of a truly great driver is that he can take his equipment to places it has no right to go to, and which others cannot reach. In that, Hamilton has truly proven his mettle this year. Congratulations, Five-Time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.