Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel managed to get the best of his biggest rival in the Formula One World Championship – Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton – at the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix, finishing the race in second behind Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen as Hamilton just missed the podium in fourth. Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen split the two drivers, occupying the podium in third after the 71-lap race came to a close.
Still, it was Lewis Hamilton that won the war, securing enough points even with fourth place that he was declared the 2018 Formula One World Champion. That marks Hamilton’s fifth World Championship title, giving him one more championship than Vettel, although still two less than the great Michael Schumacher.
And we wonder if securing second place mightn’t have felt like a bit of a hollow triumph for Sebastian Vettel, who had been running third in the late stages of the race when Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire from second place. Ricciardo, who started from pole after just edging out his teammate in Qualifying, chalked up his eighth DNF of the season after his car’s power unit failed yet again.
That’s not to say that Sebastian Vettel didn’t earn his place on the podium. The Mexican Grand Prix brought out some of the most calm, collected, focused driving we’ve seen from Vettel in quite some time – crucial for a driver with a tendency of sabotaging his own races by overdriving the car. It also enabled him to put off his first tire change until later in the race than most of the other frontrunners, leaving him with more grip in the late stages.
Despite Hamilton’s clinching the Formula One Drivers’ Championship, Ferrari still has a shot at the Constructors’ title, with two races to go and a pretty big gap to overcome. Stay tuned as Formula One heads to Brazil next month.