Lewis Hamilton described the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix as “pretty horrible” as he struggled home in fourth place…but the pace and tyre issues that kept him off the podium paled into insignificance as fourth was enough to claim a fifth world title.
“The race itself today was pretty horrible,” said Hamilton. “I got a great start and was really working my way up, but then we were really struggling with the tyres, both Valtteri and I. I was just trying to hold on and bring the car home.”
With Max Verstappen taking a dominant victory in Mexico, Sebastian Vettel could no longer challenge Hamilton for the title. It means Hamilton joins Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as the only men to have claimed five drivers’ world championships.
“Honestly, it’s very hard to realise it at the moment,” said Hamilton. “It’s something I dreamed of, but I never in a million years thought I’d be standing here today a five-time World Champion.
“I never knew that was going to happen and I am just so grateful to everyone who has helped me be here. I want to say a big thank you to all the fans here for making the Mexican Grand Prix as special as it is.
“And I want to say a big thank you to my team. Bono said on the radio – the Championship wasn’t won here, it was won through a lot of hard work and through a lot of races. So, I am so grateful for all the hard work back home, for PETRONAS, for all our partners and ultimately for Mercedes.
“I have been with Mercedes since I was 13, so to achieve the same thing Fangio had done with Mercedes so many years ago, is an incredible feeling and very surreal at the moment.
“Honestly, I am just so grateful. To my family back home, I love you, thank you for all the support. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the hard work my dad did and my family. This is a very humbling experience!”