Hamilton wins 2018 F1 title to match Fangio's feat in the 50s

Hamilton wins 2018 F1 title to match Fangio's feat in the 50s

Hamilton wins 2018 F1 title to match Fangio's feat in the 50s

The Brit is level with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and just two titles shy of all-time record-holder Schumacher, who claimed seven championships in 18 full seasons.

Heading into Mexico, Hamilton's championship rival Sebastian Vettel needed to win the race with Hamilton finishing no higher than seventh.

He has managed to balance this nearly Jekyll and Hyde personality, being the ultimate professional driver with five world championships - up there with Juan Manuel Fangio as the second-most successful driver in F1 history - and pursuing an active and varied life outside the cockpit.

A four-time champion himself, Vettel opened the season with a strong charge of two straight victories only to see Mercedes snatch wins while their own vehicle faded for a long stretch.

Lewis Hamilton is just the third driver to have won the Formula One championship five times.

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"The people back there (in Maranello) certainly deserve it and I will try everything to score as many points for them as I can".

"It is a very unusual feeling right now", Hamilton said. "It's something I dreamed of, but I never in a million years thought I'd be standing here today a five-time world champion".

That was a signal of how tough it was to be for all his future team-mates as Hamilton, who narrowly missed out on the 2007 title, returned to triumph in 2008 with a dramatic last-gasp fifth-place finish in Brazil.

In last year's Mexican Grand Prix Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen made contact through the opening corners, with only eventual victor Verstappen emerging unscathed.

"To be as close as I am, I'm really quite happy", Hamilton said. He added: "Whether or not I'm going to have the chance to win more, who knows? And being a great champion is about more than just winning races". "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all the hard work that my father did, and my family". 'I have been at Mercedes since I was 13 so to take this title, given that Fangio won two championships with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling.

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For Hamilton this is the fifth title in his career.

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"I think he drove superbly all year and was the better one of us two", said the German, whose season unravelled after the August break.

But in a high-altitude race of attrition, with tyre wear playing a huge part in the outcome, the champion was unable to match the pace and had no need to take any risks either.

Verstappen had the last laugh in the end.

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"You put a lot of work in and okay, I did pay attention in maths, so I could make the numbers, but still you hang in there as long as you can".

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