Mexico GP: Hamilton, Vettel come together on first lap

The Mexico Grand Prix got off to a dramatic start as Lewis Hamilton and title rival Sebastian Vettel came together on the first lap.

(From left) Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the start of the Mexico GP.   -  AFP

Lewis Hamilton has moved a step closer to winning the Formula One drivers' championship despite sustaining a puncture on the first lap of the Mexico Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver picked up the issue in a coming together with title rival Sebastian Vettel during a frantic start, which also saw the Ferrari man make contact with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Hamilton came into the race knowing a top-five finish would be enough to earn him a fourth drivers' crown, but the incident forced both drivers to pit, easing the pressure on Hamilton to produce a result.

Vettel needs to finish at least second to have a chance of keeping the title race alive heading into the final two races.

Hamilton later accused Vettel of hitting him deliberately over team radio, although stewards quickly determined no investigation was necessary.