Lewis Hamilton Crowned 2017 Formula One Champion After Mexico GP

It didn't go as planned, but Lewis Hamilton's ninth-placed finish at the Mexican Grand Prix was enough to make him Britain's first four-time Formula One world champion. "It doesn't feel real. It is not the kind of race I wanted, 40 seconds behind, but I never gave up. That is what is important and in my heart. I am grateful for today," Hamilton said. Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen won the race comfortably ahead of Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton joins Vettel and Alain Prost as a four-time champion. Only two drivers have achieved more - Michael Schumacher (seven) and Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio (five). Hamilton has now won more world championships than Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna.

On the first corner, Hamilton's worst fears came true as a collision with Sebastian Vettel dropped both drivers to the back of the field. Hamilton's tire was punctured and Vettel's car needed a new nose. Vettel drove brilliantly to finish fourth from 19th, but he fell short of the top-two finish he needed to keep Hamilton from celebrating. The Briton diligently worked his way back into ninth, constantly checking on Vettel and his progress. Although ninth proved somewhat anti-climatic for Hamilton, it didn't stop the 32-year-old from celebrating his record-breaking title.

Hamilton had to turn things around this season after Vettel took the lead in the early part of the season. After finishing fifth and fourth, Hamilton's stunning win at the British GP restored his belief. Winning at Ferrari's home track in Monza might have been the turning point though. Vettel finished third as Hamilton took charge in the championship, leading by just three points. Once Hamilton had established a 34-point lead in Malaysia, Vettel's retirement after four laps in Japan left Hamilton on the home straight. And in Mexico, he crossed the finishing line as world champion for a fourth time. The 2017 season still has two races left, in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.


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