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.

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13/12/2018
01:05 | Detroit Pistons vs Charlotte Hornets
01:05 | New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
01:05 | Milwaukee Bucks vs Indiana Pacers
01:05 | Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers
01:05 | Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards
02:05 | Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies
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02:35 | Atlanta Hawks vs Dallas Mavericks
03:05 | Miami Heat vs Utah Jazz
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04:35 | Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors
18:55 | Villarreal - Spartak Moskva
18:55 | Sevilla - Krasnodar
18:55 | Olympique Marseille - Apollon
18:55 | Lazio - Eintracht Frankfurt
18:55 | Vidi - Chelsea
21:00 | AEK Larnaca - Bayer Leverkusen
21:00 | Celtic - Salzburg
21:00 | Arsenal - Qarabag
21:00 | Olympiakos Piraeus - Milan
14/12/2018
02:05 | Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets
02:35 | LA Clippers vs San Antonio Spurs
03:35 | Chicago Bulls vs Orlando Magic
04:35 | Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns
15/12/2018
13:30 | Manchester City - Everton
15:30 | Hannover 96 - Bayern Munich
16:00 | Tottenham Hotspur - Burnley
16:15 | Real Valladolid - Atletico Madrid
17:00 | Dijon - PSG
18:00 | Inter Milan - Udinese
18:30 | Real Madrid - Rayo Vallecano
18:30 | Borussia Dortmund - Werder Bremen
20:30 | Torino - Juventus
16/12/2018
12:00 | Sevilla - Girona
13:00 | Olympique Lyon - Monaco
14:30 | Brighton - Chelsea
14:30 | Southampton - Arsenal
17:00 | Liverpool - Manchester United
18:00 | Cagliari - Napoli
20:30 | Roma - Genoa
20:45 | Levante - Barcelona
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - Bordeaux
DERBY OF THE WEEK
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Derby of the week
20:45
31/12/2018
Derby of the week
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