Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday and in the process helped Mercedes secure their fifth consecutive FIA Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship.
Having already secured the drivers’ title, Hamilton enjoyed a fantastic drive to claim his 72nd career victory from pole position.
The result was also his 10th win of the 2018 season and second in Interlagos.
Further, Hamilton marked his 50th win in the hybrid era, which means that he won more than 50 percent of the 99 races since 2014.
Hamilton had surrendered the lead to Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing on Lap 40, but was later gifted back the position after an incident between Verstappen and Esteban Ocon of Force India just four laps later.
That was enough for Hamilton power on and claim the win in a total race time of one hour 27 minutes 09.066 seconds. Verstappen tried valiantly to regain first place but had to settle for the runner-up position 1.469 seconds behind the victor.
Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari claimed the final podium place 4.764s off the pace.
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes were fourth and fifth, respectively. Completing the top 10 and all points winners were Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Charles Leclerc of Sauber, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Sergio Perez of Force India.
The classification helped Mercedes improve to 620 points on the constructors’ championship standings, enough to secure the crown with only the season-finale remaining. Ferrari have 553 points in second place.
Hamilton (383 points) added to his points total on the Drivers’ Championship standings, where he now leads by 81 points from Sebastian Vettel (302 points).
Hamilton later commented: “That’s real history in the making for the team. If I were to stop today with Mercedes, I would always remember this day and that I was a part of it and that’s so cool.
“This has been a seriously tough year and everyone on this team has fought so hard, harder than we’ve ever fought and we’re the most united that we’ve ever been – which is not expected when you’ve had success in previous years and could easily drop the ball. The guys have been continuing to raise the bar.
“Today was such a tough race for me, but I really wanted to deliver and win this for the team. It has such a big knock-on effect; everyone on the team can now go into the last race and into the winter, knowing that they won the world title and that they’re legends.
“I didn’t expect the Red Bulls to be in the race like that today, I thought they’d be in a similar pace to us, but they were quite a bit quicker. We struggled with the tyres in the first stint and they were able to manage the tyres better than us.
“In the second stint, I was on the Medium tyre and had an issue with the engine, so I was really just trying to bring the car across the line. Max passed me which was painful, but then they had an issue and all of a sudden I was back in the lead. I was on the radio, telling my engineers ‘I don’t want to give it up, tell me what I need to do’ – I was pushing so hard at the end, taking every risk to bring it home with a win. This is a high, but I want to stay on that wave and win the next race as well.”
The next race at Abu Dhabi marks the championship finale on November 25.