How Lewis Hamilton compares to the Formula One greats

HAM title

Lewis Hamilton seals fifth Formula 1 world championship at 2018 Mexico GP

Lewis Hamilton celebrated his fifth Formula One world championship and joined an elite trio of greats on Sunday after a Mexican Grand Prix won by Red Bull's Max Verstappen for the second year in a row.

Hamilton's success - the third time he has taken the title without finishing on the race podium - elevated him to a supreme club alongside Fangio with only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher ahead of him.

Hamilton had gone into the 71-lap race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a virtually unassailable 70-point lead over closest title rival Sebastian Vettel, who finished second ahead of his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel will have the small consolation of beating Hamilton in the title-clinching race to finish second, passing him about midway through on a run down the long straight in a test of power between F1's top two teams.

A feather in his cap was that he uniquely won those titles with four different constructors: Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes and Maserati.

"I really do aspire to be like him, as a strong black man, as a father, and as a human being for doing what he did in the hard times". I did pay attention in maths so I knew the numbers!

"It's a very odd feeling right now", said Hamilton after stepping out of his auto following a series of celebratory doughnuts. Number five, I think it's something incredible.

"Fangio is the godfather and always will be, but I feel very honoured to have my name alongside his, that's for sure".

"I'll never forget the things he did for me to be here", Hamilton said.

Vettel stormed into 2018 by winning in Australia and Bahrain to put the pressure on Hamilton, who didn't win until the fourth race.

Hamilton gave a nod of respect to his title fight with Vettel.

"We reflect on not one moment, but the whole of the year".

Asked how he meant to celebrate his triumph, Hamilton replied: "It is going to sound really boring, but I just feel content and really happy, so I am looking forward to going to sleep". "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all the hard work that my father did, and my family". Lewis has been the differentiator this season-our vehicle was the fastest at times, but not always; sometimes, like today, it was only the third-fastest.

Although he might consider his inaugural win at Canada in the previous race as a bigger milestone, the United States GP at Indianapolis could be Hamilton's most impressive victory in his rookie year.

"I think he drove superbly all year and was the better one of us two", said the German, whose season unravelled after the August break.

"I felt like I couldn't push the vehicle to its limit", Verstappen said.

"I think all that work that he put in, my grandfather would be so proud and grateful that the Hamilton name is there and established and will now go down in history, which is kind of insane to think".

The decision to switch to Mercedes ensured he was in the right place at the right time, an informed choice made by many multiple champions.

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