Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton at the 2017 Formula 1 Mexican Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton was crowned the 2017 Formula 1 world champion on Sunday after what turned out to be quite a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix.
It is Hamilton’s fourth title, making him the most successful British driver in F1 history. He also joins an elite group of five drivers to have won four or more titles. The others are Juan Manuel Fangio (5), Alain Prost (4), Michael Schumacher (7) and Sebastian Vettel (4).
“To be honest, this fourth world title is not even registering right now,” Hamilton said after the race. “There is all this energy from the people around you…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.”
He also said he was keen to add a fifth title to his tally, suggesting he has no plans to slow down just yet.
Going into the Mexican race, it was clear the championship arithmetic favored him. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel needed to come first and Hamilton lower than fifth in order for the championship fight to stay alive. Nevertheless, the race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City was far from smooth.
Vettel started at pole position but was soon passed by Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen. While still on the first lap, Vettel came into contact with Hamilton which saw the drivers drop to the back and Hamilton suffer a tire puncture. Hamilton crawled back to pits for fresh tires while Vettel was able to race back and have a new nose installed. Thus the German was able to recover to fourth by the end of the race while the Briton could only finish ninth.
2017 Formula 1 Mexican Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
Ahead of them was Verstappen who drove brilliantly to cross the line first. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas finished second, close to 20 seconds behind the winner, while Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen finished third, 54 seconds behind. Rounding out the top five was Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
There was bad luck for Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley who had to retire on the 31st lap after his car suffered power unit troubles. He managed to pull over and get out just before the car caught fire. The incident resulted in the virtual safety car which led to a number of drivers pulling into the pits.
Other retirements included Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg due to electric gremlins, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo due to a broken turbocharger, and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson due to cooling problems.
Hamilton’s tally in the 2017 Drivers’ Championship extends to 333 points. Vettel is second with 277 points and Bottas is third with 262 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes was declared the champion at last weekend's United States Grand Prix. The team has 595 points versus the 455 of Ferrari and 340 of Red Bull. The next race on the calendar is the Brazilian Grand Prix in a fortnight.
In other F1 news, it’s been revealed that Daniil Kvyat is no longer tied with Red Bull or its feeder team Toro Rosso. It is rumored that Hartley, who has shown impressive form since his debut at the United States Grand Prix, will be selected to drive with Toro Rosso in 2018 alongside current driver Pierre Gasly.
Hit the next page for the full results of the 2017 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix.