Lewis Hamilton has said it feels “very strange” to match Juan Manuel Fangio’s achievement of five World Championship titles.
Hamilton needed to finish P7 or higher at the Mexico Grand Prix to clinch back-to-back World Championships and duly obliged, albeit in a rather forgettable P4.
The Brit got off to an awesome start in Mexico City, jumping up to P2 and tracking Max Verstappen for the race lead.
But Mercedes’ tyre troubles quickly became apparent and Hamilton was helpless as he slipped down the pecking order.
However, the events of his race in Mexico will pale into insignificance after adding to his Formula 1 legacy with a fifth title.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 28, 2018
“It’s a very strange feeling right now,” Hamilton said in front of the packed stadium section in Mexico.
“It wasn’t won here, it was won through a lot of hard work through many races.
“I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13 so to complete this – Fangio had done it with Mercedes – it’s an incredible feeling and very surreal at the moment.
“It was a horrible race. I got a great start and was working my way up but then I really don’t know what happened after that. I was just trying to hold on and bring the car home.
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my family, and for all the hard work my Dad did. It’s a very humbling experience.”
He's done it! Lewis Hamilton is a FIVE-TIME World Champion 🏆
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) October 28, 2018
He added to Sky Sports: “I try not to allow myself to get emotional in public, but right now I just feel very humbled by the whole experience.
“It’s hard to realise it at the moment, it’s something that I dreamed of – but never in a million years did I think I would be standing here today as a five-time world champion. I never knew that was going to happen.
“I’m just so grateful for everyone who helped me to be here. The guys who are here at the garage, the guys back at the factory have helped me raise the bar and lift this trophy, I couldn’t have done this without them.
“It’s definitely my best year. And that’s the goal. When I won the championship last year, I was like, ‘how am I going to improve? How can I be fitter? How can I be more focused? How can I be a better all-round driver?’.
“I’ve tried to be a better son, to be a better friend – just in all areas. I think this year I’ve been able to lift them all up, I’m not sure if that’s something to do with age, but I’m sure experience helps.
“I honestly feel like I’ve performed my best this year so I’m very, very happy with how it’s gone.”