Max Verstappen dominated Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix after a brave first-lap pass that sent him on his way to his third Formula 1 race win as Lewis Hamilton clinched his fourth world title in understated fashion, finishing a lap down in P9.

Contact between Hamilton and championship rival Sebastian Vettel offered another twist in the fight for the 2017 crown, forcing both to pit early and spend their races fighting back up the order.

Hamilton ultimately crossed the line ninth, and with Vettel fourth, it was enough to confirm the Mercedes driver as world champion for a fourth time.

Vettel made a clean start from pole position, only to come under pressure from Verstappen and Hamilton as they made the most of the long run down to Turn 1 to get a slipstream off the Ferrari and go three-wide.

Verstappen took to the outside in order to get the inside for the cutback at Turn 2, allowing him to muscle past Vettel with a bit of contact. Vettel bogged down on the inside heading into Turn 3, giving Hamilton the chance to sweep around the outside, only for the two to make contact and both sustain damage.

A broken front wing forced Vettel into the pits, while there was worse news for Hamilton as he sustained a left-rear puncture, leaving him to crawl back to the pits, resigning the pair to the bottom two positions upon returning to the track at the end of the opening lap.

Verstappen was able to immediately forge a healthy lead over the field as Valtteri Bottas rose to second for Mercedes, while Esteban Ocon had been a big winner from the first-lap melee to run third ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.

Vettel was able to make up a few places early on after making the switch to the soft tyre, but Hamilton was not able to push at his normal pace, being lapped by race leader Verstappen with less than 30 laps on the board.

Verstappen was able to pull out a seven-second lead over Bottas before pitting just before half-distance under a Virtual Safety Car, called following a stoppage for Brendon Hartley on-track, with the majority of the field following suit.

Both Vettel and Hamilton opted to pit again in order to take on fresher, quicker tyres to get to the end, running P8 and P16 respectively after coming in. Up front, Verstappen's lead had extended out to more than 14 seconds, prompting Red Bull to tell him to slow down for fear of a Renault engine issue after seeing Hartley, Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo all retire with issues.

Verstappen was able to temper his pace through the final stint of the race to claim his third F1 race win with a dominant display, leading home Bottas in second for Mercedes.

Despite a rapid final stint on the ultra-soft tyre that allowed him to fight back up to fourth for Ferrari, by finishing outside of the top two, Vettel's title defeat was confirmed, with Hamilton being crowned world champion down in ninth.

Kimi Raikkonen was able to make the most of the mid-race VSC to leapfrog Esteban Ocon and take the final podium position in Mexico for Ferrari, finishing 16 seconds ahead of Vettel in the sister Ferrari. Ocon was left to settle for P5, but with Force India teammate Sergio Perez in seventh, it was enough to secure the team fourth in the constructors' championship.

Lance Stroll split the Force India's in P6 for Williams, having capitalised on the chaotic start, while Kevin Magnussen took an impressive P8 for Haas at the end of a difficult weekend for the American team.

Behind Hamilton in ninth, Fernando Alonso was left to settle for P10 after a wheel-to-wheel fight with Hamilton in the closing stages, with the McLaren driver scoring his first point since Hungary.

Felipe Massa took 11th for Williams ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly, with Pascal Wehrlein and Romain Grosjean completing the classified finishers after tough races.