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'Very surreal!' Lewis Hamilton in dreamland after winning fifth F1 title

29 October 2018

The Mercedes driver will line up third, behind the two Red Bulls of pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen and with Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel alongside on the second row.

Hamilton's mood lifted swiftly, though, as he celebrated a fifth title that moves him level with Juan Manuel Fangio on the list of all-time championship successes.

Hamilton's title adds to the Mercedes driver's previous wins in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017, the last of which was also secured at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a non-podium finish.

As they began to emerge for their final laps, Bottas was passed, on the run to Turn One, by Vettel while Hamilton delayed his out-lap - clear signs of the competitive tension between Ferrari and Mercedes.

"It's a very odd feeling right now", Hamilton said as he got out of his auto and celebrated. "To complete this when Fangio did it as well, it's a very surreal feeling".

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"I knew the pace was in the vehicle - Max showed that all weekend - I just knew it was putting together a clean lap at the end".

But Verstappen certainly controlled his emotions on Sunday, fighting off Lewis Hamilton at the start before displaying enormous maturity and race guile to take the chequered flag, 17 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

"I was not expecting to be up as high as we have done", said the Briton.

"I just feel very very humble, of course I dreamed about this but I never thought I'd be standing here as a five-time champion".

"It is not easy today but well deserved for him and I want to congratulate Lewis. I don't see the point of doing the next two races".

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It's not often that Lewis Hamilton is content with qualifying third for a grand prix, but that is the case in Mexico. Vettel said: "I think we got more or less everything out of the vehicle, but dropping to fourth from second is not satisfying".

Ahead of Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix, which starts at 11.10pm UAE time, here are a few key talking points to watch out for during the race.

Renault teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz qualified seventh and eighth ahead of Sauber duo Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson in ninth and 10th.

Hamilton knows that both he and Vettel will share in seeking to avoid hitting each other at the start of the race - Vettel because he can only keep his title challenge alive by winning for Ferrari.

But make it to the end he did - in the face of a surging Sebastian Vettel who was on Daniel Ricciardo's tail for large parts.

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'Very surreal!' Lewis Hamilton in dreamland after winning fifth F1 title