Famous five for Hamilton as he wins the world title again

Daniel Ricciardo snatched pole position for the Mexico Grand Prix ahead of practice pacesetter Max Verstappen, as Red Bull secured its first front row lock-out in five years.

Hamilton, who needed to finish only seventh at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to beat Sebastian Vettel to the title with two rounds to spare, spent much of the race at odds with his Mercedes team as he struggled for pace.

Lewis Hamilton has won the fifth Formula 1 world title of his career after finishing in fourth place at the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday. "We tried to make the best of it, I thought we had enough but it's still good to be second".

Although the red and silver cars reduced the deficit in Saturday morning practice and the early stages of qualifying, Red Bull remained a class apart in the final reckoning.

"So, naturally, I'm going to be fighting to at least try and gain a position, but, of course, I'm aware of the Bulls ahead".

Vettel portrayed a crestfallen figure on Sunday night, and there can be little denying that the reputation of a driver, one which can boast 52 wins and four championships, has taken a severe battering.

"Renault have provided us with an engine this weekend in these conditions that is competitive with our opponents".

Red Bull had suffered a hydraulics failure with Verstappen's auto in practice - and speaking to Sky Sports after the race, team boss Christian Horner said Ricciardo's race was ended by what was likely another hydraulics problem.

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"There's nothing left guys, these tyres are dead", Hamilton said after running off the track on lap 47.

Vettel, needing to win to keep his hopes alive, was gracious in defeat, hugging Hamilton as the two greats shared a moment.

The jovial Australian has been out of sorts and out of luck since his last pole at the Monaco Grand Prix, which he went on to win - also his last visit to the podium.

Hamilton went on to talk about his own father Anthony, who famously worked multiple jobs to fund Lewis' karting career and propel him up the motor racing ladder.

"It wasn't won here, just throughout the season and a lot of hard work", added the 33-year-old after doing smoking "donuts" in front of a 130,000-strong crowd who witnessed a rare race without a Mercedes driver standing on the podium.

Ferrari's rival Sebastian Vettel took second place. "He was the better one of us two", Vettel said.

"Number five is incredible". But in Mexico, that sadness was replaced by anger, as Ricciardo suffered his seventh mechanically-related DNF of the season - and admitted that he was more than ready to hand over his vehicle to Pierre Gasly for 2019...

Ricciardo's retirement was his 11 in the last 23 races.

  • Lawrence Cooper