Lewis Hamilton says he feels “very humbled” to have won a fifth Formula 1 world championship, a feat he never thought he’d achieve "in a million years”.

A fourth-place finish in the Mexican Grand Prix was enough for Hamilton to seal this year’s crown, after Sebastian Vettel finished second on a weekend he needed to win.

The Briton has now moved level with Juan Manuel Fangio on five world titles and move joint-second in the all-time standings, behind only seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.

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“I don’t really allow myself to get too emotional in public but right now I just feel very humbled by the whole experience,” Hamilton said.

“Honestly it’s very, very hard to realise it at the moment. It’s something that of course I dreamed of but I never in a million years thought that I would be standing here today as a five-time world champion.

“I never knew that was going to happen. I’m just so grateful to everyone that’s helped me be here, the guys here, the guys back in the factory who helped me raise the bar and lift this cup. Without them I couldn’t have done it.

“My family as well, my dad who just truly believed out and out that we had it above all the other drivers when we were younger. It’s just so weird.”

Hamilton, who has taken nine race wins and only finished off the podium on four occasions so far this season, believes 2018 has been his strongest-performing campaign yet in his F1 career.

“It’s definitely the best year,” he said. “Ultimately that was the goal, I won the championship last year and thought how the hell am I going to improve.

“How am I going to be fitter, how can I be more focused, how can I manage my time better, how can I just be better all round, a better driver in the car but also with my team - in the garage, with the engineers, back at the factory, trying to be a better in all areas.

“I think this year I have been able to lift them all up. I don’t know if that’s something that comes with late but I’m sure that helps. I honestly feel like I’ve performed my best this year so I’m very happy with how it’s gone.”

Asked if he is determined to now go on and try to match Schumacher’s tally, Hamilton replied: “Oh my god let me just try and realise first that I’ve won this one!

“I don’t know why, it’s very very weird. I remember when I won a championship in European Formula 3 years ago, even then It didn’t register.

“I hope that this kicks in soon, I’m definitely getting more excited as I think about it more.”

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