Lewis Hamilton became the most successful British driver in Formula 1 history when he captured his fourth drivers' title with a ninth-place finish at the Mexico Grand Prix on Sunday (29 October). Sir Jackie Stewart is the next best in Great Britain with three.
It was not the ideal race after he suffered a tyre puncture on the opening lap following a collision with title rival Sebastian Vettel which put him at the tail end of the field. But the Briton fought his way back to ninth place by the end of the race to clinch the title.
Vettel had to finish in the top two and Hamilton out of the top five for the Ferrari driver to take the championship battle to the next race. The German also suffered damage in their first lap collision and needed a front wing change which put him in 18th place after the first lap. He fought his way back through the field but could only make it up to fourth place.
Hamilton was not happy with the outcome of the race but was absolutely delighted to capture his fourth title which puts him level with Vettel and he is now only behind Juan Manuel Fangio on five and Michael Schumacher, who has seven titles.
"It was a horrible way to do it, to be honest," Hamilton said after the win, as quoted on Sky Sports. "I had no idea what was going to happen to the championship. That's not the kind of race that you want but I never gave up."
"It doesn't feel real," The Briton said after capturing his fourth title. "I'm really happy with this fourth. I'm going to have to take some time to really think about it but I'm proud of the flag and everyone who represents it."
Vettel, who looked despondent after the race, shared a warm embrace with his title rival and admitted that Hamilton was a deserved champion as he was the better driver during the course of the 2017 season thus far.
"Lewis has done a superb job all year round and deserves to win the title," the Ferrari driver added.
Hamilton achievement was celebrated all across the grid as the driver received congratulatory messages from his colleagues in F1 and from other sports personalities.