— Formula 1 (@F1) November 3, 2019
Lewis Hamilton has become just the second driver to win six F1 world titles after clinching the 2019 championship in the United States GP.
The Mercedes driver is now just one title behind Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven.
Hamilton only required an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s race in Austin to clinch the crown but nearly produced a heroic victory from fifth on the grid, eventually finishing second after team-mate Valtteri Bottas overtook him late on.
But Bottas’ victory was not enough to deny Hamilton’s title celebrations. “Still we rise, still we rise,” said a jubilant Hamilton over team radio. “What an incredible weekend. Thank you so much guys for today, and to everyone who came out. I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it.”
The 2019 crown is Hamilton’s third in a row and fifth since joining Mercedes nearly seven years ago. He won his first title with McLaren in 2008.
Hamilton told Sky F1’s Martin Brundle: “It’s just overwhelming. It was such a tough race today. Yesterday was a really difficult day for us, Valtteri did a fantastic job.
“Today I just wanted to recover and deliver the one-two for the team. I didn’t think the one-stop would be possible. “I’m filled with so much emotion. It’s an honour to be up here with those greats.”
Hamilton is at the same stage of his career as Schumacher – aged 34 and in his 13th season of F1 – was when the German became the first driver to six titles in 2003. Schumacher then won his seventh and final crown in 2004.
Argentine great Juan-Manuel Fangio’s previous record of five had stood for 46 years. Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel, who congratulated Hamilton after the race, are F1’s two four-time champions.