Lewis Hamilton, the 33-year-old British racer just needed to finish seventh at Sunday's F1 Mexican Grand Prix to become champion, even if Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had won. The four-time world champion who is now on the cusp of becoming the 'greatest of all time' in Formula One finished the race at P4 and sealed the fifth title with two races to spare in the 2018 season.

Lewis Hamilton, Mexico Grand Prix, Formula One
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning the 2018 F1 World Drivers Championship after the race at MexicoDan Istitene/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton who was consistent throughout the year had a difficult race in Mexico. Hamilton battled tyre problems throughout and eventually, finished position just off the podium, in fourth. However, that was more than enough to re-write the record books and Hamilton now equals with Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio in terms of championships. With his Mercedes deal running until at least the end of 2020, Michael Schumacher's all-time titles record – once considered unbeatable – is now in sight.

"It's a very strange feeling right now," said Hamilton after stepping out of his car following a series of celebratory doughnuts. "I've been with Mercedes since I was 13, to complete this, when Fangio has done it with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling. It's a bit surreal at the moment..." he added.

Lewis Hamilton
2018 F1 World Drivers Champion Lewis HamiltonClive Mason/Getty Images

2018 Mexico Grand Prix

Though Hamilton's championship victory was the highlight at Mexico, the champagne and the big trophy in Mexico City went to Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver had an outstanding race to repeat his 2017 victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The 21-year-old Dutchman had a clinical start to the Formula One race and piped his pole-sitting team mate Daniel Ricciardo even before the first corner. That one aggressive move for Verstappen was good enough for enjoying a mostly lonely race out at the front of the field.

Vettel who had to win the race to keep the championship hope alive was determined to fight. However, he managed to finish only in P2 while the fine performance, including executing a terrific move on Hamilton on lap 39, makes it clear that the rivalry between the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers are here to continue.

Max Verstappen
Race winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing celebrates after the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico 2018Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Vettel inherited that second place after Ricciardo suffered his eighth DNF of the season. The Australian had a disastrous season in 2018 albeit the victory in China at in the first half of the season. Vettel was joined on the podium by his team mate Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn who won the US Grand Prix last Sunday was mostly quiet afternoon but drove flawlessly to continue podium finish.

1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING 1:38:28.851 25
2 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI +17.316s 18
3 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI +49.914s 15
4 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES +78.738s 12
5 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES +1 lap 10
6 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT +2 laps 8
7 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI +2 laps 6
8 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT +2 laps 4
9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI +2 laps 2
10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO +2 laps 1