Lewis Hamilton wins fifth Formula One title

Following further back-to-back tests Ferrari has opted not to use its new floor for the remainder of the Mexico weekend

Reflecting on the race itself, Verstappen says taking the lead at the start and being able to manage the pace from the front was key to scoring his second career victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The Australian was forced to retire for the second consecutive race at Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix, causing his frustrations with his Red Bull vehicle to bubble to the surface.

Later, and with the track suitable for dry tyres, Hamilton emerged in the final 10 minutes of the one-hour session to run Verstappen close at the top of the order.

"We saw what happened past year with the red auto behind", he said.

"But we're here to try and compete, so we will do the best we can to have a real race". "I'm not superstitious or any of this bullshit, but. the car's cursed. I'm tripping major nutsack right now!"

Team boss Christian Horner agreed Ricciardo had pulled off a stunner, with the team locking out the front row for the first time in the V6 turbo hybrid era that started in 2014.

"We saw what happened past year with the red auto behind, so I don't know what will happen at the start tomorrow", he added.

"We tried to make the best of it". "I've got to relax a little".

Lewis Hamilton cut a cheery figure after qualifying third for the Mexican Grand Prix, a race in which he need only finish seventh to clinch the Formula One title.

The Briton hailed his team for turning around his auto after a deeply uncompetitive showing during Friday practice.

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Asked how he meant to celebrate his triumph, Hamilton replied: "It is going to sound really boring, but I just feel content and really happy, so I am looking forward to going to sleep". "We had the same problems from practice yesterday".

"Third place is a nice place to start here".

"He wanted to get out of the circuit pretty quickly as you can imagine, so we'll speak a bit later when things have calmed down".

Hamilton is in a prime spot to secure the season championship. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 49.914, 4. While one looks set to win the race, the other will be getting over another DNF.

The rest of the closely contested midfield was forced to use the delicate hypersoft tyre, which is forecast to last just a handful of laps at the start of the race and therefore be a strategic disadvantage. Sergio Perez 57, 9.

A mention, too, for Brendon Hartley who finished sixth for Toro Rosso.

With Verstappen galloping into the distance, and Hamilton losing time to his rivals behind, he was the first of the leaders to stop for fresh rubber on lap 11.

Kevin Magnussen couldn't improve his time for Haas, anchoring him to 18th.

Marcus Ericsson followed in the second Sauber, knocking Romain Grosjean in the second Haas into 16th and early elimination. But in Mexico, that sadness was replaced by anger, as Ricciardo suffered his seventh mechanically-related DNF of the season - and admitted that he was more than ready to hand over his vehicle to Pierre Gasly for 2019...

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