Imperious Lewis Hamilton seals deserved title as Max Verstappen wins race

Lewis Hamilton can’t finish any lower than seventh if he’s to claim the crown this weekend. Pic GettyMore

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo snatched pole position from teammate Max Verstappen at the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday, while Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton sits in ideal position in third to win his fifth career Formula One championship.

Hamilton won his fourth title in Mexico past year after starting third and then having to fight back from last to ninth following an opening lap collision with Vettel, who had been on pole but lost out to Verstappen.

"But I knew straightaway that the auto felt much better and we could be in a stronger place to fight for position".

Hamilton also lined up third in Mexico previous year with a fourth title his for the taking.

"So, naturally, I'm going to be fighting to at least try and gain a position, but, of course, I'm aware of the Bulls ahead". For the race start, it's all over the place with the pre-start. "I mean, that's what we're here to do, is to race".

Red Bull were in a position to capture a one-two in Mexico with Ricciardo following behind Verstappen in the latter stage of the race, but a hydraulics failure saw the Australian driver retire from the race.

As Hamilton was swamped by the news media in the aftermath of the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, his team boss Toto Wolff admitted it was a bitter-sweet afternoon.

"To get a one two from a team point of view is awesome".

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"I am really happy with it", Hamilton said after his Mercedes team had been well off the pace in practice on Friday. "Everything feels hopeless. You know, honestly, now where I am, I don't see the point of coming on Sunday, I don't see the point of doing the next two races".

"The whole qualifying was crap", he lamented "Again, same [engine] problems we had in practice two - engine braking not like I want to, rear locking the vehicle".

Vettel's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen came home third ahead of Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

While the race here may not have gone to script for Hamilton, Vettel has been unable to live with his rival during the second half of a spellbinding campaign by the Mercedes man.

Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth, setting up a championship duel into the first turn with Hamilton.

Hamilton started a trend, with Ricciardo and Verstappen following suit on laps 12 and 13.

"I'm never going to stand here now as a five-time world champion again".

All five will move up one place once Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly is sent to the back of the grid with a 20-place grid penalty for unscheduled engine and gearbox changes. And following his fourth retirement in the last seven races, Ricciardo admitted that finding the motivation to even turn up to the remaining Grands Prix in Brazil and Abu Dhabi was a tough ask at the moment.

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