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

Verstappen fastest again in FP3 Hamilton Vettel close in			Image by Zak Mauger  LAT

Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth drivers' world championship on Sunday to draw level with Juan Manuel Fangio in the Formula One record books when he finished fourth behind a victorious Max Verstappen in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Horner was asked to whether he had spoken to the clearly angry Ricciardo yet: "He wanted to get out of the circuit pretty as you can imagine, so we'll speak a bit later when things have calmed down". 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.

It was their first lockout since the United States Grand Prix in 2013 and on a day that record-breaking speed gave them the initiative for a race won by Verstappen previous year. "I need to save a little serenity for tomorrow".

Vettel starts right behind him again Sunday and must win if he has any hope of extending the championship to the next race in Brazil. "From there onwards I could do my own race", he said.

Red Bull had suffered a hydraulics failure with Verstappen's vehicle in practice - and speaking to Sky Sports after the race, team boss Christian Horner said Ricciardo's race was ended by what was likely another hydraulics problem.

"This is a great day for us, considering how bad yesterday was for us", said Hamilton after qualifying.

The Australian's rollercoaster year was marred by drama stemming from the relentless engine issues that frayed his relationship with Red Bull and ultimately contributed to his departure for opponent Renault.

There was no fighting back the tears, no wild scenes of celebration, but rather a quiet air of content about Hamilton on Sunday evening.

"It wasn't won here, just throughout the season and a lot of hard work", added the 33-year-old after doing smoking "donuts" in front of a 130,000-strong crowd who witnessed a rare race without a Mercedes driver standing on the podium.

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Verstappen, 21, vowed to deny Hamilton the chance of securing his fifth championship in style, and the Dutchman appears the man to beat after a dominant day for his Red Bull team.

The Dutchman was clearly frustrated by the result, deliberately bumping the second-place board with his auto as he arrived on the start-finish straight, and then bemoaning problems with his Red Bull machinery.

"I congratulated him, I think he drove superbly all year and was the better one of us two".

"I've been with Mercedes since I was 13 and to complete this, when Fangio had done it with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling and it is very surreal to me at the moment".

Hamilton started a trend, with Ricciardo and Verstappen following suit on laps 12 and 13.

All five will move up one place once Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly is sent to the back of the grid with a 20-place grid penalty for unscheduled engine and gearbox changes.

His exit from the race marked the Aussie's sixth retirement in the past 11 grands prix.

The top three teams locked out the top six places on ultrasoft tyres - thereby setting the more durable tyre, rather than the pink-striped hypersoft, as their race-start tyre - leaving just four Q3 spots for the midfield to occupy.

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