Hamilton matches Fangio's five as Verstappen wins Mexican Grand Prix

Hamilton says Red Bull are 'out of reach'

The Mercedes driver secured the 2018 crown with a fourth place finish in the Mexican grand prix, having previously been crowned champion in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

The 33-year-old Mercedes star has now drawn level with Juan Manuel Fangio, and is just two short of Michael Schumacher's record, but in a dramatic race, won by Max Verstappen, he ran off the road while defending third place from Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton has won four of his five titles with Mercedes and he's contracted through to 2020, a deal he extended this season.

There have been effectively two races at every grand prix this season: the fight for victory between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, then the scrap between the other seven teams for best of the rest.

Despite the achievement, Hamilton - who finished the race in fourth - said there would... "To complete this when Fangio did it as well, it's a very surreal feeling". "I try to visualise how that could like down the straight [opens arms out wide] and through the first corner, I just hope we come out of it with two cars intact". "We've called a bit back on the power unit but still there is a deficit so we're not in a happy place", said team boss Toto Wolff.

But Verstappen certainly controlled his emotions on Sunday, fighting off Lewis Hamilton at the start before displaying huge maturity and race guile to take the chequered flag, 17 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel. "I honestly feel like I've performed my best this year so I'm very happy with how it's gone".

Vettel, meanwhile, could only pay tribute to his rival.

"He did a superb job all year, " Vettel said. I think we need to stand there and accept that and say congratulations.

This was a race the champion-in-waiting dominated from start to finish after he claimed his 80th career pole and he converted it into a 50th race win for the Mercedes team.

"I felt like I couldn't push the auto to its limit", Verstappen said. The Ferrari driver had looked like the championship favourite midway through the season, but a series of mistakes in the last nine races saw his title campaign fall apart.

Stoffel Vandoorne produced an unexpected boost at the end of a hard season by rising to eighth in his McLaren, ending a run of 14 races without points that stretches back to Azerbaijan in April.

The Ferrari showed great pace and five laps later the German also roared past Hamilton, who was struggling with his tyres, into second.

Renault teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz qualified seventh and eighth ahead of Sauber duo Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson in ninth and 10th.

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