Mon, Oct 30, 5:00pm by Head Editor
Lewis Hamilton didn’t have his best race on Monday morning (AEDT) in Mexico City, but the Brit’s ninth-place finish was enough to see him claim the Drivers’ Championship for the fourth time.
The race started with a bang when Hamilton collided with title rival Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap. The German recovered and climbed his way up to fourth, but that wasn’t enough to prevent the Briton becoming the fifth driver in history to win four titles.
The first lap incident saw Hamilton go all the way back to last place, while Vettel was forced to come back from as far back as 19th place. The latter’s fightback was a determined one, but with Hamilton holding a 66-point advantage heading into the race, it wasn’t enough.
Despite Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo changing his engine coming into this race, he was forced to retire for the second time in as many races, when his Red Bull had a power unit issue during the fifth lap of the race.
The West Australian started was back in 16th position on the grid, but made his way all the way up to seventh, before his engine troubles continued.
Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen saluted at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the third win of his career.
While this probably wasn’t the way that Hamilton would have wanted to clinch the title, he has been the dominant driver this season, winning nine races, compared to Vettel’s four.
All in all, the Brit has finished on the podium 12 times already this season, he’s also started from pole on 11 occasions. As you may have guessed, he’s the $2.38 top pick to defend his title next year.
Verstappen is at $4, ahead of Vettel at $4.33, while Ricciardo, who has one year remaining on his current contract with the Red Bull racing team, is at $7.50 to win the Drivers’ Championship for the first time.
The Aussie has won just the one race this year, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but he does sit in fourth place in the standings with two races to go, Brazil in two weeks and then Abu Dhabi on November 27.
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