Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

'I can't believe it': Lewis Hamilton to line up at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a six-time world champion

Briton wraps up drivers' title after finishing second to teammate Valtteri Bottas at the United States GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates his world championship victory. PA
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates his world championship victory. PA

Lewis Hamilton will line up on the grid at next month's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Formula One world champion after his second place at the United States Grand Prix secured a sixth drivers' title of his career.

Hamilton finished second behind his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in an eventful race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The Briton, 34, fought with ferocious determination to win from fifth on the grid but was unable to resist the Finn, who started from pole and, with a two-stop strategy, had fresher tyres in the final laps.

After leading twice, Hamilton was passed by Bottas with three laps remaining then resisted Red Bull's Max Verstappen to take his 150th podium finish and his 31st successive finish in the points.

It sealed his sixth title, leaving him one behind Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton added the 2019 title to those in 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

"I can't believe it, thanks a lot," Hamilton said over the team radio as he moved out of a tie for five titles he held with Argentina's Juan-Manuel Fangio.

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Lewis Hamilton's 2019 F1 finishes

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"It's just overwhelming if I'm really honest. It was such a tough race today. Valtteri did a great job. As an athlete I feel as fresh as can be. We'll keep pushing for the rest of the season.

"I didn't know if it would be possible but I worked as hard as I could here with my team back at the factory.

"My mum, dad, step-mum and step-dad and my family are here and it's an honour to be here with six titles with those greats.

"My dad told me when I was like six or seven never to give up and that's kind of the family motto."

It was Bottas's fourth win of the season and the seventh of his career.

"It feels good, it is a good win," he said. "Personally, I failed on my target this year, but Lewis deserves it. He's had a good season."

Hamilton parked his Mercedes in a space "reserved for the champion" before leaping into the arms of his family and friends.

Verstappen finished third ahead of Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, some compensation to team boss Mattia Binotto on his 50th birthday after the early retirement, with broken suspension, of Sebastian Vettel.

Alex Albon finished fifth in the second Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for Renault ahead of the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg in the second Renault and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat.

Updated: November 4, 2019 07:58 AM

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