Sebastian Vettel concedes defeat in F1 drivers' title battle

Vettel getting less flack for mistakes- Verstappen			Image by Hone  LAT

Newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed that his grandfather passed away in the build-up to clinching his fifth world championship at the Mexico Grand Prix. He even had a drive off into the grass when he missed the corner out of the long straight at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Hamilton could have let the Red Bulls ride off from the start, but he'd promised to look for a shot to grab the lead.

Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday that he is wary of any possible contact with Sebastian Vettel at the start of Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix after the pair qualified together on the second row of the grid.

For Fernando Alonso his final flying lap was particularly important - the Spaniard had had his first time deleted by the stewards for exceeding track limits, which he blamed on his McLaren team for sending him out too close behind teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.

He was "super angry" and couldn't sleep, but Max Verstappen sealed one of the most dominant victories of his career at the Mexican GP. He's leaving the team for Renault in 2019.

Hamilton wrapped up the title with two races left. Both drivers were reprimanded for unsafe racing moves and team tensions were high.

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. But the overall achievement is magnificent and Lewis's driving this year has been peerless so we have to be happy. We had our chances, we used a lot of them but some we did not.

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Hamilton said he'd like to go for a win to punctuate a season championship, but he doesn't give himself much of a chance to do that Sunday.

But while Red Bull's pace in Mexico was welcome, Verstappen also knows it's a rarity.

He'll want to be cautious from the start as the cars barrel through the opening long run into the first turn.

He had been wary of a repeat of last year's collision with the Ferrari driver.

Hamilton then fought back to ninth place - a result that, even though he was lapped by race victor Verstappen, was still enough to secure the championship.

Vettel's tilt for victory saw him pull off impressive overtakes on Ricciardo and Hamilton over the course of the race, but he ultimately finished as runner-up to Verstappen.

Immediately after qualifying, Hamilton was asked if he would take a cautious approach to Turn 1, and replied: "Well you saw what happened past year with the red auto behind, so I don't know. If not, I'll hold position".

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