Vettel: Hamilton the better driver

Lewis Hamilton was the better driver over the course of the 2018 Formula One season, according to closest rival Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.   -  Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel conceded Lewis Hamilton had been the better driver over the course of the season after the Mercedes man clinched a fifth title on Sunday.

Hamilton finished fourth at the Mexican Grand Prix but it was enough to put closest challenger Vettel out of title hunt with a two races to spare.

Vettel needed a win to stand any chance of extending his challenge but finished second to Max Verstappen in Mexico.

Read: Lewis Hamilton wins fifth F1 title

The result saw the Briton move level with Juan Manuel Fangio on five titles, with only Michael Schumacher (7) having managed more.

Ferrari driver Vettel, who won four titles between 2010 and 2013, had been chasing the same honour, but was left to rue mistakes made earlier in the campaign.

"I congratulated him [Hamilton]," Vettel said, quoted by Sky Sports.

"He drove superb all year and was the better one of us two.

Also read: Where the F1 title was won and lost

"Number five is something incredible. I congratulated him, asked him to keep pushing next year and we'll fight him again."

Vettel added: "We need to stand there, accept it and say congratulations. I would have loved to hang in there a little longer, but it wasn't the case.

"I don't want to [say where the title was lost] now, let me say congratulations."