Lewis Hamilton Claims His Sixth F1 World Championship In Run Up To Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
In the end, it was the expected procession for Lewis Hamilton, now Formula 1 World Champion for the sixth time. With two races remaining, in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Hamilton can sit back and enjoy the races.
That he even had the luxury of seeing Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas overtake him to win the United States Grand Prix in its final stages is indication of his dominance of a sport he will surely become the greatest ever exponent of in the coming years.
The second place podium finish, having started from fifth on the grid, means Hamilton wrapped up the title with two races to go. After next week’s Brazil GP, Hamilton will arrive for his coronation at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 1.
In what has become one of sport’s most recognisable sights, Hamilton punched the air from his cockpit as he crossed the finish line at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
"Still we rise, guys. What an incredible weekend, I can't believe it, I really can't believe it," he said over radio from his car.
Dutchman Max Verstappen, in the Ferrari, finished third behind Bottas and Hamilton.
Hamilton’s sixth title - having previously won in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 - means he has now overtaken Argentine racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio and is one short of the all-time record held by Michael Schumacher, one of the Englishman’s Formula 1 idols.
"It is overwhelming if I am honest," said Hamilton. "My dad told me when I was six or seven never to give up, that is the family motto. I feel so much emotion. I was pushing as hard as I could today and I was hopeful I could win but I didn't have enough left in the tires.”
The records are piling up for the 34-year-old Hamilton, while others are approaching fast. Once the youngest driver to ever win an F1 title, he now holds the most number of pole positions with 87.
Heading into the last two races of the season, including the night race at the Yas Marina circuit, Hamilton still has plenty to fight for. Currently eight race wins short of the record of 91 held by Schumacher, Hamilton could reduce that to 6.
We won’t bet against that record, and the number of titles, falling to the new world champion over the coming seasons.