Briton Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes to a fourth-place finish Sunday at the Mexican Grand Prix, which was enough for him to secure his fifth Formula One drivers' championship and match Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio's achievement back in the 1950s.
Aged 33, Hamilton is only two titles behind Germany's Michael Schumacher who won seven championships but ironically is now on life support at his home following a skiing accident in France on December 29, 2013.
After Mexico, Hamilton took an unsurmountable lead with two races still to be held at Brazil and Abu Dhabi this year and despite German Sebastian Vettel's second place at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit on Sunday with his Ferrari.
It's a very strange feeling to be a champion for the fifth time, I want to thank all the fans, they are incredible, winning in Mexico is special, he said.
Hamilton added that when Fangio got the fifth title it must have been something incredible, now equaling it is special.
Schumacher won the 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 titles. He retired in 2006 but returned in 2010 to drive a Mercedes. He chose to retire, this time for good, in 2010 when the team announced the hiring of Hamilton.
Mercedes' first two Formula One drivers' titles were the ones with Fangio at the wheel in 1954 and 1955. The Argentine also won the 1951, 1956 and 1957 crowns. He died in 1995 in Buenos Aires, aged 84.
Hamilton had previously been champion in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.