2018 my best year in F1

Lewis Hamilton savors the moment after clinching his fifth F1 world title with fourth place behind Max Verstappen in the Mexican Grand Prix

Realistically, though, the party should start for Hamilton on Sunday as he becomes only the third man in the history, after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher, to achieve five world titles.

The championship leader got a helping hand at Sochi Autodrom from his Mercedes colleague as Bottas was ordered to move aside and allow Hamilton to win and open up a 50-point advantage over Vettel.

Hamilton has won four of his five titles with Mercedes and he's contracted through to 2020, a deal he extended this season.

But the 21-year-old channelled all that anger and frustration at Saturday's outcome into driving the ideal race instead, which saw him pick up his second consecutive victory in the Mexican Grand Prix.

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 with Mercedes is an incredible feeling and very surreal".

Blighted by tire issues, he was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish, but that was more than enough retain the crown, with Vettel - who finished second - having needed a win to stand a chance of extending the title race. "So I'm very happy with how it's gone". I honestly feel like I've performed my best this year.

"He did a superb job all year, " Vettel said.

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen is flanked by second-placed Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton who finished third after a thrilling US Grand Prix. Hamilton increased his title lead to 70 points over Sebastian Vettel ahead of the final three rounds
Title-chasing Lewis Hamilton fears Red Bull could spoil race victory in Mexico

Lewis Hamilton will start in third position in the Mexican Grand Prix. Verstappen took a comfortable race win, while Vettel battled hard to take second.

"We need to get the auto back, but you could see the smoke come out of the back of the vehicle, ten laps from the end", Horner told SkySports F1.

"I didn't sleep very well last night", said Verstappen. "From that moment on we wanted to make sure that mine couldn't retire, even if that meant to turn down the power on the engine, just to be on the safe side".

On their first runs, Vettel clocked 1:14.970, another record, before Hamilton went second, just 0.052 seconds adrift - until Verstappen blitzed to provisional pole in 1:14.785, almost two-tenths clear.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are wary of a repeat of last year's chaos at the opening few corners of the Mexican Grand Prix.

Last year's race victor Verstappen, 21, had dominated all three practise sessions and was fastest before Ricciardo produced a scorching effort at the high-altitude Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of his Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz and the two Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson.

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