Mexican Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes fourth world Championship as Verstappen wins in Mexico
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News October 29, 2017 Updated: 10:22 PM
MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton added to his historical legacy by taking his fourth world title and placing himself in a very elite club as the only British driver to score four titles. Only F1 icon Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel have the same number of titles. Aside from Hamilton's fourth title, he has also had a string of historical milestones this season having surpassed his hero, Formula One legend Aryton Senna and Michael Schumacher in all time poles. Hamilton has also surpassed Schumacher in a number of other categories including most United States Grand Prix wins after taking his fifth USGP win in Austin last week.
"I am incredibly grateful when I think about everything that was going on this year and everything that had to be in place to produce this result. I didn’t do this on my own, there are over a thousand people back in Brackley and Brixworth who have created this beast that has given me the opportunity to exploit my abilities. I have received such great support from around the world, and I want to thank all of you that believed in me. To do this on Mexican soil, to shine a positive light on a country that has been through such a difficult time over the past few months, makes this really special. It doesn’t matter what happened in the race today. I carry ‘Still I Rise’ on the back of my helmet – it means when you get knocked down, you get back up again and keep pushing as hard as you can. I never gave up, and I kept pushing," said Hamilton. Social media was on fire as took to Twitter to congratulate Hamilton on his fourth world title .
Red Bull's Max Verstappen took the third win of his career after he and both title contenders went three wide into Turn 1 with Verstappen taking the lead as Hamilton and Vettel made contact with each other coming out Turn 3 as Vettel's left corner of Vettel's wing clipped the right ear tire of Hamilton's car. The incident was bought into question which later the stewards took no further action.
On the podium, Verstappen was joined by fellow Dutchmen DJ Hardwell who became the first DJ to ever play on an Formula One podium. Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas finished second, picking up his eleventh podium of the season.
“A great win and a fun podium, a Dutch DJ and Dutch driver, what a combination. The start of the race itself was not great but this allowed me to tuck in and get a tow from Sebastian, I had to be a bit aggressive but managed to get around the outside at turn one and from then on I was just doing my own race. I would go as far to say this was one of the easiest races of my career. I felt I missed out on pole yesterday so I had a lot of motivation to get the result I wanted today. To get not just a podium but the win is awesome," said Verstappen.
Verstappen has been on the raise despite not having a good start to the season. With today's win, the young Dutchman has shown there is still more to come.
Kimi Raikkonen was able to grab third ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel. After climbing his way back up, Vettel needed to finish in the top two to keep the fight for the championship alive. However, Vettel was unable to close the considerably large gap to his teammate finishing the race in fourth.
"It’s hard to cross the line realizing that you are not in the fight anymore. I fought to the end, giving everything I had. Then obviously in the last laps, when I had a big gap to Kimi, it would have been difficult for me to close it without something happening, like a Safety Car, but I was still believing. But in the end it didn’t happen. For sure it is not a great day for us, but it’s not about us today, it’s about Lewis and I congratulate him. Tomorrow you wake up and it will be a different day," Vettel.
It’s hard to cross the line realizing that you are not in the fight anymore. I fought to the end, giving everything I had. Then obviously in the last laps, when I had a big gap to Kimi, it would have been difficult for me to close it without something happening, like a Safety Car, but I was still believing. But in the end it didn’t happen. For sure it is not a great day for us, but it’s not about us today, it’s about Lewis and I congratulate him. Tomorrow you wake up and it will be a different day.
French driver Esteban Ocon took fifth as he helped Force India to secure fourth in the constructors' championship. Williams rookie Lance Stroll managed to split the two Force India's as he finished sixth ahead of Ocon's teammate Sergio Perez who finished in seventh in front of a sold out crowd of 337,043 for the Mexican driver’s home race.
Kevin Magnussen brought home eighth place for Haas as the American team sit one point behind Renault in the constructors' championship. Lewis Hamilton finished ninth after a rough start to the race.
Hamilton had to stand by his belief in never giving up to make his way up the grid. Fernando Alonso wanted to reminisce with Lewis Hamilton of their McLaren days as the Spanish driver didn't make it easy for the now four time world champion as they battled in the closing laps of the race.
Outside the top ten, Felipe Massa finished 11th in the second Williams while Alonso's teammate Stoffel Vandoorne took 12th. Pierre Gasly finished 13th in his third race for Toro Rosso. Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, who remains one of the underrated drivers on the grid took 14th followed by Romain Grosjean in the second Haas who finished 15th after receiving a penalty for exceeding track limits while battling Fernando Alonso during the race.
Among those who did not finish Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix were Renault's Carlos Sainz who suffered a mechanical issue near the end of the race while. An ERS problem forced teammate Nico Hülkenberg into retirement for safety reasons. Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull ran into trouble and was forced to retire due to what the team believes was a MGU-H failure. Brendon Hartley in the second Toro Rosso was unable to finish his second F1 race after suffering an engine failure. Marcus Ericsson, who had a chance to join his teammate in scoring points this season was cut short after a technical issue which saw the rear of his car burst into flames shortly after being called into the pits by the team.
With Hamilton’s fourth championship many will be debating where he sits in Formula One history. However, for those in America Hamilton’s legacy is a true American story. He is a young man who built his success from the ground up overcoming social and economical hardships, setting him apart from any driver throughout the sport’s history.