Hamilton claims fourth F1 title
MEXICAN F1 GP
Mexico— Lewis Hamilton won his fourth career Formula One season championship on Sunday with a ninth-place finish at the Mexican Grand Prix in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Hamilton had to overcome first-lap chaos when his Mercedes was bumped by title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. Hamilton got a tire puncture and Vettel had wing damage. Both had to stop immediately for repairs.
That left them in a furious bid to catch up as Verstappen sped away to victory. Vettel finished fourth but had to win or finish second to push the title chase to the last two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton’s championship makes him the most decorated British driver in F1 history, passing Sir Jackie Stewart. He is one of only five drivers in F1 history with four or more.
Hamilton held his helmet in his hands as he crossed the finish line, then took a lap around the track while waving the British Union Jack.
Vettel didn’t make any of it easy, in more ways than one.
A wild start saw Verstappen bump the Ferrari while fighting through the first turn at the end of the track’s long straight. Verstappen got the edge and got out when Hamilton made a move to get past Vettel, who drifted left. The Ferrari’s left front wing clipped Hamilton’s right rear tire, damaging both cars and forcing their drivers to pit for repairs.
As Verstappen pulled away, a seething Hamilton asked his team over the radio if Vettel made contact “on purpose.”
“Not sure, Lewis,” the team replied. Race stewards determined no investigation was necessary.
Both drivers made a mad scramble to get back toward the front, weaving through the traffic that bottles up a short track at the Autodromo Hermanas Rodriguez, and Hamilton was struggling to make up any ground. On lap 23, he was so slow that he was shown a blue flag, the order to let a faster car — Verstappen — go past him.
Vettel was on a furious pace to push the championship to the next race. He never got close. Late in the race, he asked his team if he could get second but when told how far behind he was, Vettel replied, “Oh mama mia, that’s too much.”
BATCH 1992 president Erickson Ong holds the champion's trophy for the upcoming Eagles Golf Tournament during a press conference yesterday at the Casino Español. He is flanked by (from left) Louise Ortiz of Harley Davidson of Cebu, Franco Soberano of Cebu Landmasters, golf tournament chairman Mark Garcia, and Kenneth Huan of Mercedez Benz Cebu.