Hamilton wins fourth title - despite finishing lap behind
Mexican Grand Prix

Hamilton wins fourth title - despite finishing lap behind

Lewis Hamilton sealed the 2017 world championship title with a recovery drive to ninth after an early clash with title rival Sebastian Vettel helped Max Verstappen win the Mexican Grand Prix.

There was instant drama at the start, as Verstappen and Hamilton got alongside pole sitter Vettel into the opening corner. Despite being forced wide, Verstappen got past Vettel between Turn 1 and 2, with the Ferrari driver clipping the Dutchman's rear as he completed the move. Sensing an opportunity, Hamilton dove around the outside of Vettel through Turn 3 but was forced to lift on exit for Verstappen's car, leading to contact with his championship rival.

Hamilton suffered an immediate puncture and crawled back to pit, with Vettel getting back faster to repair his damaged front wing. They emerged 19th and 20th. On a circuit with low levels of degradation and limited strategy options, it all but ensured Hamilton would win the title, with Vettel needing to finish second or higher to ensure the title fight went to Interlagos if the Mercedes driver finished ninth or lower.

Vettel showed the pace of his Ferrari by storming back through the field for fourth, but it was not enough, with Hamilton moving up to ninth in the closing stages of the race to clinch the points he needed.

Out in front, Verstappen was unchallenged and turned in a solid drive for his third career win -- and second of 2017 -- a day after narrowly missing out on becoming F1's youngest-ever pole sitter. With Vettel relegated, the victory never looked in doubt for the 20-year-old.

Once Vettel and Hamilton were out of contention, Valtteri Bottas drove a lonely race to second position to score a much-needed podium. Fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen finished third after jumping the Force India drivers with the help of a fortunately timed virtual safety car midway through the race. Raikkonen finished 16 seconds ahead of teammate Vettel, but even if he had slowed dramatically and let the German through, the extra points would not have been enough to keep the title fight alive.

Esteban Ocon claimed an impressive fifth for Force India, helped by a lightning start that propelled him to third by the end of the first lap. Despite Williams' struggles for pace all weekend, Lance Stroll turned in a stellar performance to split the Force Indias in sixth position ahead of local favourite Sergio Perez.

Kevin Magnussen was eighth, with Haas recovering from an abysmal Friday and Saturday. A long opening stint helped bring Magnussen into contention for a top-10 finish, and the Dane collected four points for the American team on what it expected to be its weakest circuit on the calendar. After his thrilling battle with Hamilton in the closing stages, Fernando Alonso rounded off the top 10 behind the newly crowned world champion. After their battle, Alonso opened his radio channel to ask if Hamilton had gone off the track to pass him, only to be told by his own team "it was good racing, it was fair racing."

Felipe Massa and Stoffel Vandoorne crossed just half a second apart in the battle for 11th, ahead of Pierre Gasly, who finished on his return to Toro Rosso. Pascal Wehrlein finished 15th, ahead of Romain Grosjean, who was penalised for going off track in a fight with Alonso in the early portion of the grand prix. Brendon Hartley's second F1 race ended with an engine failure, bringing out a Virtual Safety Car, which came out at the wrong time for Marcus Ericsson and hampered his bid for points after a strong start to the race.

Renault's drivers both failed to finish. Carlos Sainz retired in the pits 12 laps from the end, while Nico Hulkenberg's brilliant work at the start was undone when his car failed on the run down to Turn 1 on Lap 24. Daniel Ricciardo's weekend to forget ended with a reliability problem in the opening six laps, another bitter pill to swallow for the Australian on a weekend his teammate claimed a race victory.

Related news

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season

McLaren has announced Fernando Alonso will retire from Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the 2018 MotoGP season after outduelling Honda rider Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will start the Austrian Grand Prix on pole position for Honda after beating Italian Andrea Dovizioso's time by 0.002 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller

Italian Andrea Dovizioso won a Czech Grand Prix thriller in a Ducati one-two on Sunday while Honda's Marc Marquez finished third to stretch his MotoGP lead to 49 points.

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso took pole position for MotoGP's Czech Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by two tenths in a thrilling pole shootout at Brno.

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018

Daniel Ricciardo will leave the Red Bull Formula 1 team at the end of the 2018 season and is understood to be joining Renault.

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory

Ott Tanak completed a dominant Rally Finland victory for Toyota with a calm run to the finish, while Thierry Neuville limited the damage to his World Rally Championship lead.

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

Lewis Hamilton took his fifth win of the season with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas came to blows on track behind him.

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Ott Tanak will take a lead of nearly 40 seconds into the final day of Rally Finland.

RELATED NEWS

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season
Formula One news

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at the end of the season

McLaren has announced Fernando Alonso will retire from Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle
Austrian GP

Lorenzo defeats Marquez in late Austria battle

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo took his third victory of the 2018 MotoGP season after outduelling Honda rider Marc Marquez at the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole
Austrian GP - Qualifying

Marquez pips Dovizioso to claim Austrian GP pole

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will start the Austrian Grand Prix on pole position for Honda after beating Italian Andrea Dovizioso's time by 0.002 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller
Czech GP

Ducati's Dovizioso wins three-way Czech GP thriller

Italian Andrea Dovizioso won a Czech Grand Prix thriller in a Ducati one-two on Sunday while Honda's Marc Marquez finished third to stretch his MotoGP lead to 49 points.

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno
MotoGP Czech Grand Prix - Qualifying

Andrea Dovizioso beats Valentino Rossi to pole at Brno

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso took pole position for MotoGP's Czech Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by two tenths in a thrilling pole shootout at Brno.

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018
Formula 1 news

Daniel Ricciardo to leave Red Bull at end of 2018

Daniel Ricciardo will leave the Red Bull Formula 1 team at the end of the 2018 season and is understood to be joining Renault.

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory
WRC Rally Finland

Superior Tanak eases to Rally Finland victory

Ott Tanak completed a dominant Rally Finland victory for Toyota with a calm run to the finish, while Thierry Neuville limited the damage to his World Rally Championship lead.

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second
Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton eases to Hungary win, Vettel survives Bottas clash for second

Lewis Hamilton took his fifth win of the season with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valtteri Bottas came to blows on track behind him.

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win
WRC Rally Finland

Tanak takes step closer to Rally Finland win

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Ott Tanak will take a lead of nearly 40 seconds into the final day of Rally Finland.