Lewis Hamilton doesn't do conventional, it's just not his style. Securing a record fourth Formula One Drivers' Championship title during a nail-biting Mexican Grand Prix, the performance from the British ace featured almost everything fans could ask for.
Drama; determination; skill; and a champagne-soaked finish were the trademarks of a very Lewis-esque race day; as he recovered from a first-lap collision with title rival, Sebastian Vettel to finish in ninth place, and secure the ultimate prize in motorsport.
The two slender points grabbed as a result of his top-ten finish were enough to secure Lewis’ place at the top of the standings, with two Grand Prix remaining, regardless of rival Vettel’s fourth-place finish.
Lewis Hamilton Reminiscing After He Claims the F1 Championship
It was a remarkable and fully deserved achievement for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team driver, who has been relentless in his pursuit of success and is already turning his attention to title number five. Lewis said: "Four is a great number, it is part of my racing number 44, but I want five now. Just the other day I was reminiscing about growing up in Stevenage and watching TV and dreaming about being in F1. Here we are, 25 years or whatever it is and I'm four-time world champion."
“I was going back when my dad put me in a boxing ring when I was young. I was bleeding but I kept going. I remembered that moment today and decided that I was going to keep pushing. I think back to school. I wonder what those people think about me right now? I am sure they are watching. There were a couple of teachers who said that I would never amount to anything. I wonder what they're thinking now."
Lewis only needed a top-five finish to win the title, but he seized on a battle between Vettel and race-winner Max Verstappen on turn three of the first lap. Contact with Vettel's front wing dropped him to last place with a puncture, yet his recovery drive showed he never gave up.
"It was a horrible way to do it to be honest, but what could I do? I told you I wasn't going to go easy at turn one and I don't think I was too aggressive or anything like that. As a driver you always try to raise the bar but today was most unusual, being 40 seconds behind is horrible, it's like being in no man's land. But you just have to think forwards.
"I had no idea what would happen with the championship, I was just thinking about getting further up and getting involved in the race. It just shows you should never give up, and to keep pushing for whatever you go through in your lives, don't ever give up. I hope that I stand as a testament to that because there have been so many things thrown at me in my life and I keep going."
Lewis's championship win was enjoyed by the whole of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team, as well as his team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, who finished the race in second place. The Finn, who has now targeted second-place in the Drivers' Championship, was quick to praise Lewis's work ethic.
Valtteri said: "Coming to the team, I didn't know Lewis really at all. I had no idea how he is as a guy, all I knew was that he's a really good driver. This year has confirmed that he is a really good driver, but he's also a nice guy, he's a normal human being like the rest of us. We've had good respect from the very beginning of the year. I always knew he had a lot of talent, but I didn't know that he works so hard, so I think that he definitely deserves the title this year."
Valtteri Bottas Claims Second At The Mexican Grand Prix
After avoiding the first-lap incident between Lewis and Vettel, Valtteri had a relatively straightforward race to take the second step on the podium.
Valtteri continued: "It was quite straightforward after the incident at Turn 2 and 3, I managed to get away with it. I was in P2, we tried to keep up with Max but we didn't. At some point, we had to manage the brakes with the temperatures a little bit, and the same with the engine, so I lost a bit of time with that. It feels good to be back on the podium and it felt like I got the most out of the car. We didn't have the pace to challenge Max and Red Bull today, which is unfortunate, so we have much to learn from this weekend."
While the race for the remaining championship positions continues in Brazil on the 12th of November, it’s time for the Silver Arrows to celebrate the dream double again; with a record-breaking fourth consecutive Constructors’ and Drivers’ championship in the bag. #4TheTeam.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 71 1h36m26.552s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 71 19.678s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 71 54.007s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 71 1m10.078s
5 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
6 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 70 1 Lap
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1 Lap
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 70 1 Lap
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 70 1 Lap
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 70 1 Lap
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 70 1 Lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 69 2 Laps
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 69 2 Laps
- Carlos Sainz Renault 59 Retirement
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 55 Power Unit
- Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault 30 Power Unit
- Nico Hulkenberg Renault 24 Retirement
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 5 Retirement