Lewis Hamilton entered the history books Sunday night after becoming only the third driver in Formula 1 history to win five Drivers’ championship titles after he was crowned the 2018 champion following the conclusion of the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was crowned the world champion Sunday but it was not how he would have imagined it after he struggled with tire degradation throughout the race and only managed a fourth place finish, which was almost 80 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen.

Hamilton’s race, however, was with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who had to win the race and hoped the Briton finished below seventh place to have a chance to take the title race into the next race in Brazil. It was the German’s first incident free race weekend since his win in Belgium, but it was not enough to give him a win; he had to settle for second place and thus concede the title to his fellow four-time champion.

The elevation of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez completely changed the fortunes of the teams with the Red Bull Racing team finding themselves the quickest over the entire weekend. Verstappen topped all the practice sessions but was beaten by his teammate Daniel Ricciardo to pole position.

The Dutchman did not let that get him down as he made the perfect start and took the lead at the start of the race. Hamilton looked like his main contender after he gained a place from third at the start, but that was as good as it got for the newly crowned world champion.

The Mercedes cars struggled with tire wear, while the Red Bull car looked comfortably quicker despite a small amount of tire degradation. The Ferrari’s were their closest challengers Sunday, but Vettel could only do that much having started the race in fourth place.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton won his fifth Drivers' championship title after finishing fourth at the Mexican Grand Prix. In this picture, 2018 F1 World Drivers Champion Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates with his team after the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Oct. 28, 2018, in Mexico City, Mexico. Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Ferrari driver, however, was not bitter in the face of Hamilton celebrating his title win and was the first to walk up to his rival and congratulate him on his fifth Drivers’ title. Vettel conceded the British racer was the deserved champion in 2018 having not put a foot wrong the entire campaign.

"He drove superb all year and was the better one of us two," Vettel said, as per Sky Sports. "I told him 'well deserved' and to enjoy it.”

"Number five is something incredible. I asked him to keep pushing for next year and be at his best to fight him again,” the Ferrari driver added after the race in Mexico.

Hamilton was quick to appreciate Vettel’s gesture and revealed the two title rivals hold tremendous respect for each other. He particularly referenced to the German making it clear he wants to battle for the title once again in 2019.

"He came over and the one thing I remember him saying is 'don't let off, I need you fighting with me next year', which I respect naturally,” Hamilton said. "It was a true showing of sportsmanship and great respect between us. That's great to happen with multiple world champions, two competitors who have gone head-to-head.”

It was the only sporting gesture from Vettel as the German also went into the Mercedes garage during the teams debrief to congratulate the staff and the management of the Silver Arrows team.

Vettel was not the only one to pay tribute to Hamilton with many of his F1 colleagues chiming in with congratulatory messages. Former teammate Nico Rosberg also offered his wishes despite sharing a bitter rivalry during their time together at Mercedes.