Lewis Hamilton reveals three defining moments which led to his fifth world title

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico

It's fair to say that Lewis Hamilton, who started off as a promising young racing driver from Stevenage, has gone onto fulfil his potential within the world of Formula 1.

The Brit was officially confirmed as the 2018 champion on Sunday by finishing fourth in Mexico. 

Hamilton now joins an elite group as he becomes the first driver to win five world championships of this generation, an accolade that could, and possibly should, have been Sebastian Vettel's. 

At the beginning of the 2018 season, both Hamilton and Vettel were level on world titles and the prestigious fifth title was in arm's length for both drivers. However, it was Mercedes driver who raced to victory and cemented his name within the history books.

"It's been an incredible season - mentally and physically, for everyone in the team," the five-time world champion shared. 

Vettel had more than his fair share of opportunities to emerge victorious over the course of the season but just came out second best in all of the key battles.

In an interview with BBC Sport reflecting on the season, Hamilton revealed three pivotal moments that swung his way and helped him pip Vettel to the title.

The first moment was his victory at the German Grand Prix, where he defeated his rival in his own backyard. Vettel remained in pole position for much of the race, with Hamilton lurking in second, before the home favourite crashed out and the Brit stole the win in rainy conditions. 

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico - Final Practice

"They'd had a couple, Seb's psychologically difficult time when he made a personal mistake (in Germany). As a driver, when the team makes a mistake, it's painful. But when it's you, when it's in your control, that's a horrible feeling. He would have taken that to heart."

Singapore was another memorable moment for Hamilton and Mercedes. The German manufacturers, based in Britain, have traditionally underperformed at this circuit but Lewis was able to buck the trend by standing top of the podium in Marina Bay.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, the Italian GP. Ferrari looked certain to win their home Grand Prix with both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at the start of the grid following qualifying. 

However, a mistake from Vettel allowed Hamilton to pass the German on the first lap as he later chased down Raikkonen for the rest of the race. The Mercedes man eventually passed the Finn as he soared to victory in Monza, with the loyal Italian crowd booing him following the race. 

F1 Grand Prix of Italy

"Then we had that fight at Monza. That would have been a team blow for them. But we didn't get complacent after that great result for us. We knew we still had to execute, going to places like Singapore where Ferrari usually destroy us. And what a weekend it was.

"None of us predicted that we would've won in Hockenheim or Monza or particularly Singapore. Collectively we've done an amazing job in this team."

In what was a very successful season for Hamilton and Mercedes, the British driver will now have his eyes on potentially breaking another record - the most driver championships ever which is currently held by Michael Schumacher, with seven. 

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