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Lewis Hamilton draws level with Juan Manuel Fangio

Lewis Hamilton draws level with Juan Manuel Fangio

The title puts him level with Argentinian legend Juan Manuel Fangio, who won five world championships in the 1950s, and behind only Michael Schumacher - the German having won seven.

Asked later what he said to his rival, Vettel revealed that he congratulated Hamilton and gave him some instructions for 2019. "To complete this when Fangio did it as well, it's a very surreal feeling". "I honestly feel like I've performed my best this year so I'm very happy with how it's gone". "Ultimately that was the goal, I won the championship past year and thought how the hell am I going to improve? It is a great moment". He also clinched last season's title in Mexico City.

Red Bull recorded their first-ever front row lock-out in the turbo hybrid era, but not in the order many were expecting as Daniel Ricciardo pinched pole position away from Max Verstappen in the final Q3 run.

Hamilton slotted in behind the Dutchman, with pole-sitter Ricciardo dropping to third.

Hamilton's celebrations were muted as his friend was denied the chance to follow up his 2017 win in Russian Federation with another triumph, but it proved to be another key victory en route to the title.

A tough task to score points from there and Renault should end the race a little closer to securing fourth spot and the extra prize money that goes with it. It would become a theme of the race.

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

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third, meaning the constructors' championship remained open at least until the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks' time with Mercedes' lead trimmed.

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In the immediate post-race interviews, the Ferrari driver spoke to former F1 driver David Coulthard and even cut his interview short with the Scotsman to go and congratulate Hamilton in person.

Hamilton now just needed to keep his Mercedes on the tarmac, but, it is never easy with Hamilton, and it was not long before he was on the radio again, bemoaning his tyres.

Hamilton was unhappy on the supersoft tyres after pitting on lap 12, while Vettel flourished.

The two had a costly collision in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that knocked both cars out of the race.

Vettel had pulled out a staggering 12 seconds over Hamilton in just six laps, and the Briton was soon defending from Ricciardo. The 110,000 spectators crammed into this unique track, groaned and roared in equal measure.

Marcus Ericsson made it a double-points finish for Sauber in ninth to vault the Swiss team above Toro Rosso into eighth in the constructors' championship, despite Pierre Gasly rising from the back to score a solitary point. He would rejoin in fifth.

But Hamilton and Mercedes knew a place in the top seven was all that was needed to take the title and, although he continued to complain of problems with the vehicle, that outcome never really looked in doubt.


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