October 30, 2017 / 3:25 AM / a month ago

Motor racing: The road to the Formula One title

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Britain’s Lewis Hamilton won his fourth Formula One world title at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday.

F1 - Formula 1 - Mexican Grand Prix 2017 - Mexico City, Mexico - October 29, 2017 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

The following details the Mercedes driver’s road to the championship:

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Australia, March 26

Hamilton started the season from pole position after a record lap time in qualifying but Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari alongside on the front row. Vettel won by 9.9 seconds, his 43rd victory in Formula One, with Hamilton second.

Vettel 25 points, Hamilton 18

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China, April 9

Hamilton took pole position, again with the fastest ever lap of the circuit, and went on to win the race. Vettel qualified second and finished second, 6.2 seconds behind. The win was Hamilton’s fifth in Shanghai. The pair were tied on points.

Hamilton 43, Vettel 43

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Bahrain, April 16

Finland’s Valtteri Bottas ended team mate Hamilton’s run of six poles in a row with his first. Hamilton qualified alongside while Vettel was third. The German turned the tables in the race by winning, with Hamilton second and 6.6 seconds behind.

Vettel 68, Hamilton 61

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Russia, April 30

Vettel ended a Mercedes streak of 18 successive poles with Ferrari’s first since 2015. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen completed a front row lockout. Bottas won the race after jumping the Ferraris at the start. Vettel was second, Hamilton fourth.

Vettel 86, Hamilton 73

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Spain, May 14

Hamilton was back on pole, the 250th by a British driver in Formula One, with Vettel alongside on the front row. The order remained the same in the race, with Hamilton taking the chequered flag 3.4 seconds clear.

Vettel 104, Hamilton 98

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Monaco, May 28

Raikkonen took his first pole since 2008, with Vettel qualifying second. Hamilton started 13th. Vettel then became the first Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher in 2001 to win Monaco. Hamilton finished seventh.

Vettel 129, Hamilton 104

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Canada, June 11

Hamilton took pole position to equal late boyhood hero Ayrton Senna’s career haul of 65. Vettel qualified second. Hamilton won the race for the sixth time with Bottas runner-up. Vettel finished fourth after fighting back from last.

Vettel 141, Hamilton 129

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Azerbaijan, June 25

Hamilton took pole with Bottas completing a Mercedes front row. Vettel lined up fourth. The German hit the back of the Briton’s Mercedes during the race while behind the safety car and Daniel Ricciardo won for Red Bull. Vettel finished fourth and Hamilton, who had to pit to fix a loose headrest, fifth.

Vettel 153, Hamilton 139

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Austria, July 9

Bottas took pole position, with Vettel alongside, after Hamilton collected a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change and started eighth. The Finn then held off Vettel to win, with Hamilton fourth.

F1 - Formula 1 - Mexican Grand Prix 2017 - Mexico City, Mexico - October 29, 2017 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Vettel 171, Hamilton 151

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Britain, July 16

Hamilton was back on pole at home, with Vettel qualifying third. The Briton went on to win while a late puncture slashed Vettel’s lead to one point. The German finished seventh.

Vettel 177, Hamilton 176

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Hungary, July 30

Vettel took pole on an all-Ferrari front row with Hamilton fourth. The German won while the Mercedes driver sportingly gave third place back to Bottas after the Finn let him past earlier.

Vettel 202, Hamilton 188

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Belgium, Aug. 27

Hamilton returned from the August break to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 68 pole positions in his 200th race. He went on to win with Vettel second.

Vettel 220, Hamilton 213

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Italy, Sept 3

Hamilton set an all-time pole position record and went on to win, wresting the outright lead from Vettel for the first time this year. Mercedes were one-two, Vettel finished third.

Hamilton 238, Vettel 235

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Singapore, Sept 17

Vettel started on pole but the two Ferraris collided at the start in a battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Hamilton came through from fifth to win.

Hamilton 263, Vettel 235

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Malaysia, Oct 1

Hamilton started on pole position, with Vettel last after a power unit problem sidelined him in qualifying. Verstappen won the race with Hamilton second and Vettel fourth.

Hamilton 281, Vettel 247

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Japan, Oct 8

Hamilton took another pole and went on to win while Vettel retired after four laps with a spark plug problem that surfaced before the start.

Hamilton 306, Vettel 247

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United States, Oct 22

Hamilton started on pole, with Vettel second and the race ended that way. Mercedes secured the constructors’s title for the fourth year in a row.

Hamilton 331, Vettel 265

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Mexico, Oct 29

Vettel took pole, with Hamilton qualifying third but needing only a fifth place to take the title. A first corner collision between Hamilton and Vettel dropped both to the back of the field.

Hamilton fought back from last place to finish ninth, while Vettel climbed from 19th to fourth. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the race. Hamilton secures fourth world championship.

Hamilton 333, Vettel 277

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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