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‘Champion of the world’: Lewis Hamilton wins sixth F1 title

Lewis Hamilton has clinched a sixth Formula 1 world championship title at the US Grand Prix.

The British racing driver, 34, is now just one behind all-time record holder Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton, who started the Texas race in fifth position on the grid, finished second behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Image: Hamilton is now one world title behind Michael Schumacher

It means Hamilton has taken an unassailable lead over his only title rival Bottas with two races still to go in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The Briton has now secured a fifth championship in six seasons.

Afterwards, he told his team on the radio: "Still we rise, guys. What an incredible weekend. To everyone that came out, I cannot believe it. I really can't believe it."

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His race engineer Pete Bonnington said: "Champion of the world. You did that in style, mate."

In his post-race comments, Hamilton, who has pulled one title clear of late Argentinian driver Juan Manuel Fangio, said winning the world championship again was "overwhelming", adding it was "such a tough race".

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He said it was "an honour to be up here with those greats".

Asked how far he could go now, in terms of titles and wins, Hamilton replied: "I don't know about championships but as an athlete I feel fresh as can be right now.

"I'm ready for the next race. These next races we won't let up, we'll keep pushing."

Going into the US Grand Prix in Austin, he topped the table with a commanding 74 point lead over Bottas, who started on pole and had to win to have any chance of delaying the all but inevitable.

Hamilton could have crossed the line in eighth place and still secured the title even with a Bottas victory. Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished third in the race. Hamilton now has 381 points, compared with 314 for Bottas.

Sky News looks back on the triumphs that have made Hamilton the greatest driver of his generation.

The Briton is now 17 points clear in the championship
Image: Going into the race in Austin, the Briton was 74 points clear in the driver's standings

2008

After an explosive debut season with McLaren that saw him become the youngest ever F1 championship runner-up, record-breaking Hamilton went one better in 2008.

The youngster won the first race of the season in Australia but it was not all plain sailing from there on out, with his success at the British GP notable for him having started the race in fourth after an error in qualifying.

At one point during the campaign he saw his lead in the standings cut to a single point after coming a disappointing seventh at the Italian GP, but he battled back again and became the youngest championship winner ever after a dramatic finale at the Brazilian GP on the final day of the season.

Lewis Hamilton became the youngest F1 champion ever in 2008
Image: Lewis Hamilton became the youngest F1 champion ever in 2008

2014

Hamilton endured the most barren period of his career before winning his second championship, with came in his second season with Mercedes.

He enjoyed a season-long battle with teammate Nico Rosberg, who had finished two places above him in 2013, and claimed three straight race victories for the first time in his career by winning in Malaysia, Bahrain and China.

After the summer break he managed to win another five in a row, in Italy, Singapore, Japan, Russia and the US, before being crowned champion after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton had to wait six years before winning his second championship
Image: Hamilton had to wait six years before winning his second championship

2015

Hamilton had the fastest car on the grid in 2015, the new W06 Hybrid, and took full advantage.

Consistent podium finishes throughout the year saw him awarded a three-year contract extension with Mercedes reportedly worth more than £100m, making him one of the best paid drivers in F1.

He ended up winning the championship with three races to spare by overtaking teammate Rosberg at the US GP, leaving the Briton to toast what he described as "the greatest moment of my life&qRead More – Source