Lewis Hamilton has become the most successful British driver in the history of Formula 1, after clinching a fourth world title on Sunday (29 October), as Max Verstappen won a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix.

The Briton finished ninth, but his closest rival Sebastian Vettel could only finish fourth, meaning the Mercedes driver has an unassailable lead of 56 points with two races to go and just 50 points up for grabs.

Hamilton's triumph adds to the titles he won in 2008, 2014 and 2015, as he draws level with Vettel and Alain Prost in the all-time standing.

Only Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio have won more than the Briton, who has now moved one title clear of Sir Jackie Stewart, becoming the most successful British driver in the history of the sport.

Hamilton arrived in Mexico knowing a fifth place finish would earn him his fourth world title but the stroll to the title some had expected never materialised, as he found himself last at the end of the first lap after starting from third spot on the grid.

Vettel, who had claimed the 50th pole position of his career on Saturday, got away well but was overtaken by Verstappen going into the first corner. Desperate to defend his track position, the German and Hamilton went into turn three wheel-to-wheel, which left the Ferrari with a broken nose and Hamilton with a puncture on his rear right tyre.

The duo pitted and returned onto the track in 18th and 20th position respectively, with Hamilton asking his team on the radio whether Vettel had deliberately hit him. Pictures showed the German had not and in fact the collision dealt a crucial blow to the Ferrari's driver already slim hopes of keeping the race for the title alive.

After pitting at the end of the first lap, the four-time world champion knew he had to finish in the top two with Hamilton out of the points, but despite a gallant effort he could only finish fourth. It was a disappointing end to a title race that had promised so much for Ferrari for the first half of the season, but a combination of race incidents and poor reliability all but ended the Italian team's chances after the summer break.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning his fourth F1 title. Getty Images

Meanwhile, having grabbed the lead at turn one, Verstappen set about imposing the kind of pace that shows while he will sooner or later join Hamilton and Vettel on the list of world champions. The Dutchman was untroubled for most of the following 70 laps and his third win in Formula 1 would have tasted a lot sweeter after last weekend, when Verstappen overtook Kimi Raikkonen on the last lap to finish third, but was then demoted to fourth shortly before the podium ceremony.

The Finn finished third again, behind his countryman Valtteri Bottas, who ensured Mercedes, which had already secured the constructors' championship for the fourth consecutive season, had a car on the podium for the 12th consecutive race.

Local here Esteban Ocon finished fifth, with his Force India teammate Sergio Perez taking seventh, while Williams' Lance Stroll finished sixth, his second best performance of the season, behind the third-place he clinched in Azerbaijan.

Kevin Magnussen gets a points finish in his Haas for only the second time in 10 races, while Fernando Alonso ended 10th, only the third time the two-time world champion has picked up points this season.