Mexico City, Monday @Peoplesport11
A relieved, if happy, Lewis Hamilton admitted clinching his fourth drivers’ world title in a tense and dramatic Mexican Grand Prix was something of a horror show. The 32-year-old Briton, who thrilled an enthusiastic crowd with celebratory “donuts” after completing his slow down lap with a British flag in his cockpit, came home ninth to seal the championship.
Dutchman Max Verstappen, 20, won the race in convincing fashion for Red Bull, his second win of the year and third of his career while Hamilton’s title rival four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished fourth.
“That was a horrible way to do it to be honest,” said Hamilton, who knew Vettel had to finish first or second to prevent him taking the championship. The pair collided at the first corner on the opening lap when the German’s Ferrari hit the rear right wheel of Hamilton’s Mercedes. Both cars were damaged and returned to the pits, Hamilton with a puncture and Vettel needing a new front wing.
“I was trying not to be too aggressive there in T1 (Turn One) and left a lot of space for the car behind,” said Hamilton who asked his team if it had been a deliberate move by Vettel, but there was no clear response.
Meanwhile, Vettel insisted he has no fear of Hamilton who equalled his mark of four world drivers titles. “I am disappointed, obviously. But it is not that important. It is more important to say well done to Lewis who has deserved the title and done such a superb job all year,” said Vettel.
Wearing dark glasses, the deflated Vettel hugged Hamilton and congratulated him personally in the post-race interviews pen. “Yes, all congratulations to him. It’s his day today. He deserved it.”
Asked how he rated Hamilton in the pantheon of champion drivers, Vettel said: “Well, he’s up there with four titles so he deserves it, if you can count!” He added: “But I don’t fear him. I like racing against him and I just wish I could have done more of it this year, but overall they (Mercedes) were the better bunch.” -AFP