Where the F1 title was won and lost

We examine how Lewis Hamilton clinched a fifth Formula One title by looking at the key moments in the 2018 season.

Montage of the Formula One 2018 season.   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has again proven the class of the field in Formula One, clinching a fifth world title at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Only Michael Schumacher has claimed more championships than Mercedes' Hamilton, who has finished top of the F1 drivers' standings in four of the past five years.

In 2018 he has once more seen off the challenge of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, despite the German claiming early season momentum with back-to-back victories in the campaign's first two races in Australia and Bahrain.

It was Hamilton's remarkable consistency from late July to October that ultimately delivered title number five.

Here, we review the key moments from the 2018 season.

Read: Lewis Hamilton wins fifth F1 title

AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 70, Vettel: 66)

Defending champion Hamilton failed to top the podium in any of the first three races and a victory in Baku looked unlikely too until he capitalised on two strokes of fortune.

First, Vettel locked up when attempting to overtake Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas. The Finn then sustained a puncture and had to retire with three laps remaining, allowing Mercedes' number one driver to claim his first win in seven races.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 163, Vettel: 171)

Hamilton had won his home grand prix in the previous four seasons and was on pole at Silverstone before an opening-lap collision with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen left him down in 18th.

Though Vettel took the race victory and extended his slender lead in the overall standings, Hamilton was at least able to claim a crucial 18 points as the 33-year-old staged a sensational recovery to finish as runner-up.

GERMAN GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 188, Vettel: 171)

Perhaps the most pivotal point of the term came at Hockenheim on July 22, two weeks after Silverstone, when Vettel had appeared set to further increase his championship lead only to see his rival instead seize an advantage he would never cede.

The Ferrari driver was on pole, with Hamilton starting 14th on the grid, but it was the Briton that claimed a 44th race victory of his career as he tore through the field before taking full advantage when Vettel careered into the barriers following a brief rain shower.

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 256, Vettel: 226)

Monza had been a happy hunting ground for Hamilton before September's race and the Mercedes driver once more showed his liking for the circuit with a fifth Italian Grand Prix victory that stretched his overall lead to 30 points.

It did not come without controversy - Vettel furious at Hamilton for a collision between the two - but it was the Briton who again came out on top with a slick overtake of Raikkonen with eight laps to go.

RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 306, Vettel: 256)

The championship leader got a helping hand at Sochi Autodrom from his Mercedes colleague as Bottas was ordered to move aside and allow Hamilton to win and open up a 50-point advantage over Vettel.

Hamilton's celebrations were muted as his friend was denied the chance to follow up his 2017 win in Russia with another triumph, but it proved to be another key victory en route to the title.

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 331, Vettel: 264)

A fourth consecutive race victory for Hamilton all but confirmed he would be the eventual title-winner too as Vettel could only finish sixth having made contact with Max Verstappen.

This was a race the champion-in-waiting dominated from start to finish after he claimed his 80th career pole and he converted it into a 50th race win for the Mercedes team.

MEXICAN GRAND PRIX (Hamilton: 358, Vettel 294)

Just as in 2017 when Hamilton won the title in Mexico with a ninth-place finish, the race itself was one to forget for the former McLaren man.

Blighted by tyre issues, he was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish, but that was more than enough retain the crown, with Vettel - who finished second - having needed a win to stand a chance of extending the title race.

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