With a final round-up from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez following Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, Crash.net F1 Digital Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.


- Lewis Hamilton clinched his fifth Formula 1 world championship with two races to spare in the 2018 season with a fourth-place finish in Mexico on Sunday. With title rival Sebastian Vettel finishing second, the two are separated by 64 points with 50 remaining this year.

- Hamilton becomes just the third five-time champion in F1 history, following Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio. Hamilton is now tied with Fangio’s title tally, and just two short of Schumacher’s record of seven.

- Hamilton called his race “horrible” after struggling with tyre wear throughout Sunday’s running, resulting in a third title-clinching result that has not been a podium finish.

- The Briton revealed after the race that his grandfather, Davidson Hamilton, had died just a few days ago, making for a “difficult weekend.”

- Asked how he would celebrate the title win, Hamilton said: “You know it’s going to sound really boring - I’m looking forward to going to sleep!” He then issued a rally cry to the Mercedes team as it looks to wrap up the constructors’ championship in Brazil in two weeks’ time.

- Max Verstappen claimed the fifth F1 victory of his career with a dominant display in Mexico. After seizing the lead off the start, Verstappen led all but four laps en route to his second win of the year. He now holds the record for the most F1 wins without having started a race from pole.

- Sebastian Vettel scored his best result since winning the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August by finishing second in Mexico. Vettel was gracious in his title defeat, talking with Hamilton ahead of the podium ceremony. “He came over and, the one thing he said was, ‘just don’t let off – I need you fighting with me next year,’” Hamilton revealed.

- Kimi Raikkonen continued his impressive final season with Ferrari by chalking up his 11th podium finish, giving his team the chance to cut the gap to Mercedes in the constructors’ championship down to 55 points.

- Daniel Ricciardo was left frustrated after an engine issue forced his eighth DNF of the season, emerging when he was running second on-track with 10 laps to go. Ricciardo said after the race he was “done” with the RB14 car and felt “helpless” as his run of not scoring a podium finish since Monaco continued.

- Nico Hulkenberg finished as the top midfielder in Mexico, taking P6 for Renault. Despite fears about the Hypersoft tyre’s life, he made a one-stop strategy work. Teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. was forced to retire early after an electrical issue.

- Sauber jumped ahead of Toro Rosso into eighth place in the constructors’ championship after its second double-point finish of the season. Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson both made one-stop strategies work to finish P7 and P9 respectively.

- Stoffel Vandoorne was another man to nail a one-stop strategy en route to eighth place and his first F1 points since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April. McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso retired early after catching debris from the opening lap in his car.

- Pierre Gasly rose from last on the grid to finish 10th, managing his Supersoft tyres well on a two-stop strategy after starting on Hypersofts. Gasly was left unhappy with Esteban Ocon’s move in their battle for the final point late on, feeling he was not left enough space. No action was taken, with FIA race director Charlie Whiting saying that Gasly was already understeering wide at the point Ocon appeared to squeeze him.

- Gasly’s teammate, Brendon Hartley, had a difficult day as he flat-spotted a tyre early on and struggled to get through traffic, before then receiving a penalty for contact with Esteban Ocon that also left him with damage to his car.

- Haas finished behind Williams as the slowest team in Mexico, having struggled with degradation on the Supersoft tyre. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean finished 15th and 16th respectively.

- Grosjean will however edge away from a race ban though, as he will drop back to nine penalty points on Monday. He will then lose another two after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

- Williams was handed a €25,000 fine for “endangering team personnel” when it unsafely released Lance Stroll at a pit stop, with one of the mechanics being struck by the car. Thankfully, it caused no injuries.

- Mexican GP promoters reported a weekend attendance of 334,946, with 135,407 turning out for race day at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.



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