Published: Tue, October 30, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Hamilton beats Vettel to F1 title again

Hamilton beats Vettel to F1 title again

Ricciardo, who is leaving Red Bull at the end of the year to join Renault, retired from the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday while fighting off Sebastian Vettel for second place.

Hamilton endured an uncomfortable afternoon, struggling for grip with his tire choice and needing only a seventh-placed finish to guarantee the title, he put up little challenge as first Vettel and then Ricciardo overtook him.

The 33-year-old Mercedes star is now just two championships shy of the Formula One record set by Michael Schumacher, despite stuttering to fourth during a dramatic race in Mexico.

Vettel, a four-time champion himself, opened the season with a strong charge of two straight victories before Hamilton and Mercedes dominated the second half of the season.

Monza had been a happy hunting ground for Hamilton before September's race and the Mercedes driver once more showed his liking for the circuit with a fifth Italian Grand Prix victory that stretched his overall lead to 30 points.

Sebastian Vettel's swing past Ricciardo on Lap 34 was simply wonderful - the Red Bull was hamstrung by backmarkers and the German took full advantage. "Five (championships) is something incredible".

"I always believed we could win this championship, but it was one of the toughest", Hamilton said. "I think we could have had a one-two or at least two cars on the podium".

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"I didn't sleep very well last night", said Verstappen.

"I haven't had a clean race or weekend in so long".

The unlucky Ricciardo later suffered another retirement in a year blighted by bad luck, allowing Hamilton to reclaim the place, with his teammate Valtteri Bottas in fifth. He drove superbly all year. And after a year that initially promised so much, it seems that the last chapter of Red Bull and Ricciardo's story together is in danger of becoming seriously blighted.

The 2018 season has been defined by the battle between Hamilton and Vettel and their Mercedes and Ferrari teams. I really do aspire to be like him as a strong black man and as a father and as a human being, doing what he did in the hard times and with the little that he had, I think that's testament to where we are.

Ferrari are still in the race with Mercedes for the Constructors' title as we gear up for the remaining two races in Brazil and the finale at Abu Dhabi, marking the end of yet another scintillating season in top-flight racing.

Retiring for the eighth time this season, Ricciardo can not wait to exit the Red Bull team and get started with his 2019 team, Renault.

Hamilton was too heavy on the brakes and locked up as he entered turn one, but he avoided the barriers and was able to slip behind Daniel Ricciardo.

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