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Insatiable Hamilton eyes fifth world title after glory in Mexico

Lewis Hamilton is world champion. Photo: PA

A triumphant Lewis Hamilton has already set his sights on winning a fifth Formula One world championship after being crowned Britain's most successful motor racing driver ever.

Hamilton surpassed Sir Jackie Stewart to become the first Briton to win more than three championships and joined Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel as just the fifth to have won four or more after a chaotic race in Mexico on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Englishman finished only ninth - the lowest position of his championship-winning season - following a stunning opening-lap collision with Vettel, after which Hamilton asked if his rival had crashed into him on purpose.

Hamilton dropped to last but Vettel - who also had to stop for repairs - crossed the line in fourth to fall well short of the victory he needed to stop Hamilton from rewriting the record books.

Lewis Hamilton celebrating his win. Credit: PA

Hamilton took the chequered flag with his helmet in his hands before holding a Union Jack aloft as he celebrated his remarkable achievement.

Later, he arrived to address the media with a glass of champagne. He had one sip of bubbly before proclaiming it as disgusting and reverting to an energy drink.

"Four is a great number, but I want number five now," Hamilton said with a telling grin. "Throughout the race I was just thinking to myself, 'don't give up'.

"I went back to when my Dad put me in the boxing ring when I was younger and this kid beat the crap out of me. My nose was bleeding and I didn't want to go back in, and it felt very similar today.

"I got the puncture, and I could have easily resorted to giving up, making mistakes, but, I remembered that moment and I was like 'I'm not going to give up, I'm going to keep pushing, and give it everything, so that when I cross the line I can be proud of myself,' and I definitely am."

Hamilton had vowed to seal his fourth title in style. After qualifying only third, he knew the 800-metre charge to the first corner here - the longest of the year - represented his best chance of victory.

Hamilton has now won four world championships. Credit: PA

Hamilton made his way past Vettel at the left-handed second corner, with the German then bashing into him on the exit of the following turn.Hamilton was straight on the radio to ask if Vettel had done it deliberately.

The stewards noted the incident, but took just seven minutes to decide they would take no action. In the end it did not matter as the coming together effectively ended Vettel's title challenge.

"This week I have just been reminiscing a lot about where I came from," Hamilton, who grew up on a modest Stevenage council estate, added. "Where I am now is way beyond my imagination.

"There were a couple of teachers that said 'you're never going to amount to anything,' so I wonder what they're thinking now?"

"I hope that winning the title for the fourth time is testimony that you really can do something from nowhere, and I hope one day I'm able to help find the next me because he's out there somewhere."