Hamil­ton claims fourth F1 ti­tle

MEX­I­CAN F1 GP

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

AP

HAMIL­TON

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